Containing the oldest wreck ever to be raised from the sea bed, this museum provides a fascinating look at maritime trading practises of a time long before the birth of Christ.
The ship was found by a local sponge diver in the mid sixties and was raised from the sea bed with great care by a team from the University of Pennsylvania. After being raised it was impregnated with special preservatives and is housed in a room that is air-conditioned to a constant temperature.
There is a reconstruction of the original vessel, created in cross-section to show how the ship was made, and loaded with its cargo. Also on display are some of the original personal articles that would have been used by the crew of four. The Mediterranean is notorious for its changing temperament, calm one moment and rough the next and probably the ship went down in a sudden squall. She was found approximately one mile off-shore, in less than 100ft of water and there is every possibility that the crew could have swum ashore.
Estimated to have sunk in 300BC, the ship was approximately eighty years old at the time and had seen lengthy service trading throughout the Mediterranean. Made from Aleppo pine she is thought to have traded along the coasts of Asia minor, Cyprus and Rhodes. This supposition is based on the fact that her cargo, that was recovered virtually intact, contained amphorae from Samos and Rhodes and basalt mills from Cos. The amphorae contained almonds which have been carbon dated, with a margin either side of sixty years, to 288BC.