Skip to comments.Deepest Roman shipwrecks found near Greece
Posted on 05/30/2012 6:18:13 AM PDT by C19fan
Two Roman-era shipwrecks have been found in deep water off a western Greek island, challenging the idea that ancient shipmasters stuck to coastal routes. The merchant ships were sunk nearly a mile deep between Corfu and Italy - proving that ancient traders didn't 'hug the shore'. Greece's culture ministry said the two third-century wrecks were discovered earlier this month during a survey of an area where a Greek-Italian gas pipeline is to be sunk.
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Hugging the shore is the fastest way to get wrecked in a keel-less boat.
How do they know they weren’t coast huggers blown off course to deeper waters and sunk by a storm? Just askin’.
For your GGG ping list.
I’m sure that once they realized that they could cuts weeks off a journey from Greece to Italy by navigating straight there as opposed to putzing all the way around the Adriatic, they happily set off across the open ocean. The ancient world was lacking modern technology, but they weren’t stupid.
Exactly! Like air travel take offs and landings, near shore is the most perilous part of the journey. Rocks, shoals, and pirates.
There’s old sailors and bold sailors, but.....
Absolutely. You cut straight across until you pickup a familiar lighthouse or landmark on the opposite coast. Much safer & quicker than hugging a coastline where a sudden storm or windshift might drive you up onto the rocks.
Exactly. By the 3rd century? They had been direct sailing for centuries, I believe I read.
The discovery doesn’t “challenge” anything like the writer is asserting...Romans sailed all over the place....
The major economic method of making money with a wooden boat:
The larger the number of trips, the more money you make. An average ship lasted about ten years and hugging the coast cost you dearly in revenue. You sailed in straight lines, always.
Why don’t archaeologists own boats?
Not a sailor among them.
All pilots, whether ship or plane, know that the closer to land you are the more dangerous it is.
Deepest Roman shipwrecks, victims of Somali pirates, found near Greece
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
In order to sail across open ocean you need a method of navigation.
They had GPS (Greek Plotting System)
Sun, moon, and stars all worked just fine for the Vikings and Polynesians, known to have navigated much larger bodies of water than the Mediteranian.
In the Med you could use dead reckoning and when you run into the coast follow it to the nearest port.
No doubt there are methods, but did the Romans know and use them in the 3rd century? I’m not sure without doing some research but I was just guessing that if researchers believed they didn’t sail in open ocean, one would conclude that there was no evidence that they had open ocean navigation techniques. As someone upthread mentioned, perhaps they got blown off course. Then again, for all we know, they may have hugged the shore just to do port hops and hit a different brothel each night.