Romans liked French Wine

DFN: I’m a bit surprised, that the Romans were big wine drinkers!

Ship survey reveals Romans liked French wine
By Patrick Dewhurst

THE Department of Antiquities has just released the findings of its survey of a Roman shipwreck near Cape Greco on the Island’s southeast coast.

The shipwreck dates from the 2nd century AD and contains over 130 ceramic jars, likely to have been carrying wine or oil.

“Its location in shallow waters, suggest that either the vessel was nearing an intended port-of-call, or else was engaged in a coasting trade, moving products to market over short distances up and down the coast,” said a press release from the Department of Antiquities.

The findings also suggest 2nd Century Romans had a taste for French wine. “While most jars came from South Eastern Asia Minor and the general North East Mediterranean region, one group of amphorae appears to have contained wine imported from the Mediterranean coast of France.”

Cape Greco has a rich and colourful maritime history. According to Diodoros, it was somewhere near there, where in 306BC the Macedonian Demetrios the Besieger defeated Ptolemy of Egypt, in one of the largest naval engagements of antiquity. Although Ptolemy eventually victoriously returned to control Cyprus for the rest of the
Hellenistic period, nearly 100 warships were reportedly sunk in the conflict.

Unfortunately, no wood, boat fittings or anchors are visible from the surface scatter.

The non-intrusive survey was sponsored by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University, and completed in Mid-August.

Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2009


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