The first undisturbed Roman shipwreck ever found in Cyprus has been discovered off the coast of Protaras. The resort town of Protaras is famed for its diving and is reputed to have some of the best dive sites in the eastern Mediterranean. It was two divers who found the wreck, volunteers for the University of Cyprus’ Maritime Archaeological Research Laboratory (MARELab). They notified the Department of Antiquities which quickly raised the funds for an archaeological exploration of the site.
It is the wreck of a Roman merchant vessel carrying a large cargo of amphorae. The ship is believed to have originated in Syria and Cilicia. The undisturbed field of amphorae and any other remains of the ship will shed new light on the history of maritime trade between Cyprus and the rest of the Mediterranean provinces during the Roman era.
A team of MARELab archaeologists, students and volunteers is now thoroughly documenting the wreck.