Roman wreck may point to massive battle

A shipwreck from the imperial Roman era, found off Cyprus, could lead to the discovery of vessels sunk in antiquity's largest naval engagement, the Battle of Salamis in 306 BC, said an official statement on Thursday.

"According to (historian) Diodoros, it was somewhere in the area where in 306 BC the Macedonian (King) Demetrius Poliorketes triumphed over Ptolemy of Egypt in one of the largest naval battles of antiquity," said Cyprus' Antiquities Department.

More than 300 ships were believed to have been engaged in the battle that saw Demetrius capture Cyprus.

The Roman ship, dating from the first century AD, was discovered sunk off Cape Greco on the Mediterranean's southeast coast during an underwater survey to determine the area's long-term maritime history.

Material found provided solid evidence of maritime traffic from the archaic or classic period.

The discovery had encouraged international archaeologists working in deeper waters offshore, and more extensive mapping of the wreck and the seabed is planned for next summer.



Roman Cyprus battle shipwreck archaeology

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