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Ancient Wreck



Deep Sea Explorers Discover Deepest Ancient Shipwreck Ever Found, Four More Vessels Might Rest Nearby

Undersea Expert Nauticos Corporation Unveils Details of Historical Find in Archaeology Magazine

While searching for the missing submarine DAKAR in the Eastern Mediterranean, a group of leading deep water explorers discovered an ancient marvel that has rested at the bottom of the ocean for more than 2000 years. The discovery of this shipwreck between the classical trading centers of Rhodes and Alexandria helps challenge the long-held theory that ancient sailors lacked the skills to sail long distances over the open sea, instead forcing them to closely follow the coastline during their voyages. Archaeology magazine reports the exciting find in its March/April issue. “Nauticos’ discovery turns conventional wisdom on its head,” says Kristin Romey, Archaeology’s assistant managing editor.

“This find revolutionizes our understanding of how trade was done 2000 years ago,” says Tom Dettweiler, general manager and executive vice president of Nauticos Corporation, the nationally renowned deep sea exploration firm that located the shipwreck. “We have found more than 2000 amphorae which once bore wine, olive oil, or other classical trade items. Who knows what kinds of tools or utensils we’ll find down there that will give us new understanding and answer many questions about ancient civilizations.”

In the spring of 1999, Nauticos searched for and found a missing Israeli submarine that disappeared 31 years ago. Its sonar equipment detected several mysterious objects some 10,000 feet below the surface. A state-of-the-art remotely operated vehicle revealed shipwrecks of tremendous historical and archeological significance. Detailed video and sonar imagery of one of the sites was sent to the Institute of Nautical Archeology at Texas A&M University. The shape of several amphorae – large, oval two-handled vases used for storage – confirmed the vessel dates back to the end of the third century, BC. At 10,000 feet, this makes it the deepest ancient shipwreck ever found. Another striking find is a cauldron that has been collecting sediment for more than 2000 years. A core sample of this sediment could hold secrets about changes in the Mediterranean Sea over the last two millennia.

It’s not the first time Nauticos has unearthed long-lost underwater articles of historical importance. Although its core business is support work for the U.S. Navy, Nauticos has achieved a number of other notable ocean discovery successes. These include serving as the Operations Manager for the Discovery Channel’s 1998 Titanic special that included a live TV show. Nauticos also managed the search and discovery of the historic Japanese submarine, I-52, sunk in the Atlantic by the U.S. Navy during World War II and believed to be carrying $20 million in gold bound for Germany. Additionally Nauticos discovered a portion of the Japanese aircraft carrier KAGA sunk at the Battle of Midway, as illustrated in the recent Discovery Channel documentary “Search for the Japanese Fleet”.

Nauticos provides operations and navigation expertise that specializes in deep-ocean search and underwater problem solving. Its deep-sea exploration experts offer extensive experience and unique technologies that significantly reduce search time and lower the cost of at-sea operations. These core capabilities enable Nauticos to find any object on the ocean floor to the deepest depths.

For more detailed information, see the “Ships of Ancient Greece” Concept Paper prepared by Nauticos and the Institute of Nautical Archeology.