Fancy stumbling across two-thousand-year-old wine jars, only to discover that the sweet libation within is no more. That’s what happened to a US-Albanian archaeological team working off the coast of Albania this week when they came across an ancient shipwreck (via SFGate).
The team believes that the 30-yard long wreck dates to the first century BC, when it sank carrying the produce of southern Albanian vineyards to western European markets. Although the excavation uncovered 300 intact wine jars (known by their Greek name, “amphoras”), all had lost their stoppers and leaked over the millennia, leaving only saltwater.
Despite this tragedy, researchers are still very excited about this wreck find. Says Albanian archaeologist Adrian Anastasi, who participated in the project:
Taking into consideration the date and also the depth — which is well suited for excavation — I would include it among the top 10 most scientifically interesting wrecks found in the Mediterranean
Sure, ancient ships and their many more mundane artifacts may be exciting for archaeologists and the sort, but we’re still trying to get our hands on one of those 230-year-old bottles of still-sparkling champagne they dug up in a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea a few months back. Now those guys knew what to look for.