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1001 deeds, sayings, curiosities and anecdotes of the ancient world

The water preserves wrecks, which are underwater archaeological sites

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The sea has invaded the coasts throughout the centuries and, on the sea bed, thousands of shipwrecks lie and can rescued now.

If the ashes of the fire of Mount Vesuvius preserved Pompeii and the bad air full of malarial mosquitoes kept us the temples of Paestum, the other primal element, water, has preserved hundreds of archaeological sites.

The "Mare Nostrum", (our sea), the Mediterranean Sea (in the middle of the Empire’s lands) has been crossed by military or commercial ships since the dawn of time, at least from the second millennium B.C. regularly. These ships were chartered by brave traders or run by valiant leaders, and they almost never lost sight of the coast (navigation from cape to cape).

These ships were constantly exposed to the wrath of the gods or nature: Jupiter Almighty King of Heaven, Poseidon or Neptune god of the sea, Aeolus who guards the winds in his cave and rules them at will, and so many other divinities who led the ships to their predetermined destiny or projected the ships implacable to the bottom of the sea.

Marine sediments have covered and therefore protected these wrecks (naufragium, navis frangere: to break or fracture a ship) for hundreds of years. Their study now provides us with interesting information about the movements of our ancestors in the Mediterranean, their trade, their tastes and whims, their expansive longings, their search for metals, the dissemination of their beliefs, their ideas, their knowledge, their culture. All this and much more we realize with wrecks, “pecios” in Spanish, a strange name for non-experts derived from Latin term "petius" related to "pittacium", or piece, fragments of vessels.


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