Divers find 16th-century shipwreck off the coast of Italy

Wreck of a large wooden ship thought to date to the 16th century

By Alex Fox - Smithsonian Magazine

Two professional divers exploring the waters off the coast of northern Italy have discovered the wreck of a large wooden ship thought to date to the 16th century, reports Vincenzo Bruno for Italian news site Notizie.

Investigation of the find is ongoing, but a statement from the Archaeology Superintendency of Italy’s Ministry for Cultural Heritage & Tourism suggests the wooden hull may represent the remnants of a much sought-after galleon that sank in the area in 1579.

Named the Santo Spirito and Santa Maria di Loreto, the ship was one of the largest Italian merchant vessels of its time.

In February, Gabriele Succi and Edoardo Sbaraini of local business Rasta Divers were diving near Porto Pidocchio when they spotted the remains of a wooden ship at a depth of around 164 feet, according to Diver Net.

The pair immediately knew their find was something special, as wood rarely survives in saltwater unless it is buried by sediment.

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Italy galleon

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