Some date all the way back to the Roman empire.
Credit: Mathieu Pradinaud and Manuel Añò /Gédéon Programmes 2022 UNESCO DRASSM
For centuries, the Strait of Sicily has been a vital passageway for trade, travel, and maritime transportation in the Mediterranean Sea.
In a shallow, rocky region called the Skerki Bank, archaeologists have found the remains of ships dating back to the Roman Empire.
Last week, a UNESCO expedition docked after two weeks of documenting the graveyard in never-before-seen detail.
Scientists from eight countries sailed to sea aboard the French research vessel Alfred Merlin.
In addition to capturing detailed footage of three previously documented Roman vessels, the researchers also identified three new shipwrecks off the coast of Tunisia.
In the meantime, UNESCO released stunning new footage from the expedition, showcasing a vast and haunting burial place full of historical treasures.
Here are 8 new views of a few wreckage sites:
8. This overview shot reveals piles of ancient artifacts that researchers are still working to identify.
6. Many ruins were first identified in the 1970s and 80s, and researchers say they’re in roughly the same shape as they were back then.
V. Creuze ROV Drassm
5. Artifacts can degrade rapidly, thanks to natural erosion or human activities, but that hasn’t happened here.
4. One of the ROVs can be seen capturing footage of a wreckage site.
3. A pile of treasures rests in its sunken grave.
1. Though this was the first detailed video and image capture of the Skerki Bank shipwrecks, researchers want to return for future missions.