A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Abandoned Anchors From Punic Wars Found Near Sicily
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
CALA LEVANTE, SICILY--More than 30 ancient anchors have been discovered near the small Sicilian island of Pantelleria. Leonardo Abelli of the University of Sassari says that the anchors were abandoned by the Carthaginians during the First Punic War more than 2,000 years ago. The Romans had captured the strategically located island with a fleet of more than 300 ships. “The Carthaginian ships that were stationing near Patelleria had no other choice than hiding near the northern coast and trying to escape. To do so, they cut the anchors free and left them in the sea. They also abandoned part of their cargo to lighten the ships and gain speed,” he explained. His team has also found jars that may have been thrown overboard by the fleeing Carthaginians. Two years ago, Abelli recovered 3,500 bronze coins that may have been intended to compensate troops fighting the Romans. “Near the coins we found a large stone anchor with three holes and a tree trunk. We believe they were signaling the point where the treasure was hidden,” he added.
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