British cannon from Battle of Cape Passaro found off Sicily
- On 27/01/2013
- In Underwater Archeology
Marine archaeologists working on a wreck off the coast of Sicily have discovered five large cannon from a British ship, believed to have sunk in a major battle with Spanish galleons.
The team searching waters near the city of Syracuse said the "exceptional" find dates back to the Battle of Cape Passaro in the early 1700s.
Pictures taken by divers show the cannon were barely covered by sand.
The discovery has helped pinpoint the exact location of the famous battle. The cannon have now been brought to the surface - after 300 years in the deep sea - and cleaned.
According to the archaeologists, they are in such fine condition that - in some places - the barrels still gleam in the light.
The team said they were able to identify the guns using part of an inscription on the handle of a piece of cutlery also discovered nearby.
The letters LONDO were found under what appeared to be a picture of an English rose, clearly indicating the word London - they said.
This and other evidence has convinced the researchers that the cannon came from a British vessel sunk at the Battle of Cape Passaro in 1718.
The battle involved more than 60 ships and ended in defeat for the Spanish. At the time, the British were attempting to drive them out of Sicily.