Large Roman shipwreck lay hidden in the Red Sea for thousands of years — until now

Researchers recently discovered a large Roman shipwreck settled on the seafloor along the Egyptian coast.

It was found using a sonar-equipped autonomous underwater vehicle, according to a study published on Feb. 21 in the Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Research.

Its distinct oval shape was spotted under about 195 feet of water in the ancient Red Sea port of Myos Hormos.

The wreck measures about 100 feet long, researchers said.

The wreck measures about 100 feet long, researchers said.

The port served as an important trade hub during the Roman and Ptolemaic eras, linking Arabia and India with the Mediterranean world, researchers, who are affiliated with Egypt’s National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, said.

It appears to have been abandoned during the third century A.D., perhaps because of excess silt.

The wreck may correspond to a vessel believed to have sank during the first century A.D. after setting sail for India.

At the time, it was thought to have been carrying wine, olive oil and “enormous quantities” of coins and metals.

Location of the survey area

Location of the survey area

Despite the passage of time, the wreck was well-preserved by the Red Sea’s “unique” oxygen-deprived deep waters.

The vessel, which was partially buried underneath the sediment, measures about 100 feet long and about 25 feet wide, researchers said.

A structure was also found alongside the wreck, which is believed to be sunken cargo.

The ship’s discovery is a “significant finding,” researchers said, noting that it could draw tourists in from around the globe.

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