The Punic Wars that were fought more than two thousand years ago between Carthage and Rome proved that Rome was the most powerful empire in the world not once, but three times. Many relics from these ancient wars have been discovered throughout the Mediterranean, and recently something new has been discovered.
A few miles from the beautiful villas in Sicily, off the island of Pantelleria, archaeologists have discovered a cluster of about thirty or more of the ancient anchors. These anchors have been analyzed and are estimated to be about 2,000 years old. They were found between 160 and 270 feet below the water in Cala Levante, one of the most popular destinations for holiday makers staying in villas in Sicily. Pantelleria was centrally located between Sicily and Africa, so it became an important potential conquer for both of the empires during the third century B.C.
Head archaeologist Leonardo Abelli from the University of Sassari believes that these ancient maritime items are evidence of the Romans’ and Carthaginians’ century long battle to conquer the Mediterranean. He thinks that these anchors were abandoned on purpose by the Carthaginian ships trying to hide. By cutting the anchors, the navy could make a quick escape after the Romans moved in to retake the island of Pantelleria in the second Punic War.
Abelli’s team also found many jars in groups of about 4-10 pieces near Punta Tracino, not far from where the anchors were found. Two years ago, Abelli’s team also discovered about 3,500 Punic coins. The iconography suggested that the coins served as payment, possibly for the Roman troops.
This underwater research will continue until mid-July, so holiday makers staying in villas in Sicily might be able to see the archaeologists on their dives. This new discovery is such an achievement not only for archaeologist and historians, but also for the tourism industry. A rep for Essential Italy, a holiday planning group, believes that an increase in historical significance will boost tourism for the island.
Essential Italy provides a wide range of villas, hotels and apartments throughout Italy. All accommodation options are handpicked for their distinctive qualities, and are located across the country. For more information, visit http://www.essentialitaly.co.uk .
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