Two scuba divers. Discover a 1,600-year-old Roman shipwreck with priceless treasures off Israel’s coast

I’ve never been scuba diving, but it is one of my dream activities. I love the ocean, and being able to get a peek at the world that lies beneath the waves would be an unforgettable experience. There are so many things you can find while exploring the ocean floor. You could see a rare fish, or have a playful encounter with seal, or you could find a shipwreck that hasn’t been seen for over 1,600 years. While the third option may seem unlikely, it’s exactly what happened to 2 divers who were exploring the ocean floor off the coast of Israel. Check out the incredible collection of items they found from this Roman shipwreck!

The discovery was made in a common recreational diving area off the coast of Israel.

The pair was on a normal recreational dive, when they made a fascinating discovery that scientists and historians are having a field day with.

They noticed that a portion of sea floor had shifted, causing the sand and silt to fall away and reveal something that caught their eye.

What they had stumbled upon was the ancient remains of a Roman merchant ship, lost at sea some 1,600 years ago near Caesarea, a harbor city perched on the Israeli coast roughly 30 miles north of Tel Aviv.

This statue appears to be the visage of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine.


The Israeli Antiques Authority (IAA) immediately set up a recovery dive effort after the find was made known to them. They uncovered a plethora of amazing antiques.


The center figure is this pictures is that of Luna, goddess of the moon. The fractured face was once part of a life-size statue. The face belongs to an unknown person.

These life-size shattered hands are thought to possibly belong to the same statue the fractured face did.

This candle holder depicts the sun-god Sol Invictus.

It makes sense that the sun-god would appear on a candle holder. It is most likely in reference to the light a candle can bring to a room, much like the sun brings light to the Earth.

In addition to the many sculptures and statues, they also found, hundreds, maybe even thousands of Roman coins!

After over a thousand years underwater, the coins have fused together into giant groups that weigh upwards of 20 pounds.

Even the handles to food and wine jugs (not sure which one this belongs to) were ornately detailed.

The area these amazing artifacts were found in is actually a rich historical area. Caesarea was a major port in Roman times and a major economic hub for trade in the area.

Caesarea may have been destroyed by an earthquake, as it is located on a fault line.

The ship is thought to have sunk in a storm, dragging her occupants and cargo down with her until it was unearthed 1,600 years later!

Making a discovery such as this would such a thrill! To know that you were the first person to lay their eyes on these amazing artifacts in over 1,600 years would definitely be something to brag to your friends about. Hopefully these relics are given the care they deserve and will be on display at some point. The best parts about these kinds of finds, for me at least, is when they are put on public display for people to admire. That’s truly what it’s all about.

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