Recuperan un barco griego de unos 2.500 años en Sicilia

Los restos de un barco griego de unos 2.500 años fueron recuperados del mar con una grúa frente a las costas de Sicilia, en Italia, informa hoy el diario "La Repubblica".

Vía: EFE, Gela | 29 de julio de 2008

Vídeo de la noticia

La reliquia procede de la época griega arcaica, unos 500 años a.C. Se hundió a sólo 800 metros de la costa por una tormenta. Dos buceadores aficionados descubrieron el barco en 1988 cerca de la localidad de Gela a sólo cinco metros de profundidad. El lodo del fondo marino en el que estaba lo conservó relativamente bien durante los siglos.

Ahora una enorme grúa pudo sacar la quilla de 11 metros de largo del barco, que tenía 21 por ocho metros, informó Dpa.

El barco es uno de los muy pocos aún conservados en los que se usaron fibras vegetales para atar las tablas de madera. La quilla permanecerá unos días sumergida en una pileta que contiene una sustancia química protectora. Luego será transportada a Reino Unido, al laboratorio Mary Rose Archeological Services, de Portmouth, donde ya se encuentran otras partes de la nave, recuperadas en 2004.


(2) Ancient Greek ship fished from sea

Vessel found off Sicilian coast is the largest of its kind

(ANSA) - Gela, July 28 - An ancient Greek trading ship that had lain on the seabed off the coast of Gela in southern Sicily for 2,500 years was brought to the surface for the first time on Monday. The ancient Greek vessel is 21 metres long and 6.5 metres wide, making it by far the biggest of its kind ever discovered. Four Greek vessels found off the coasts of Israel, Cyprus and France are at most 15 metres long.

The one in Gela is also of particular value for scholars who will be able to delve into Greek naval construction techniques thanks to the amazing find of still-intact hemp ropes used to 'sew' together the pine planks in its hull - a technique described in Homer's Iliad. ''Gela's ancient ship is the patrimony not only of Sicily but of all humanity,'' said Sicily's regional councillor for culture Antonello Antinoro, who watched Monday's operation.

The campaign to bring the vessel to the surface began shortly after two scuba divers located it by chance in 1988.

Archaeologists believe the ship sank in a storm some 800 metres off the coast while transporting goods from the Greek colony in Gela back to Greece in around 500 BC.

The bow of the ship, along with an astounding array of amphorae, drinking cups, oil lamps and woven baskets, were brought to the surface in 2003. On Monday coastguards and experts from the Caltanissetta culture department salvaged the rest of the vessel using a boat equipped with a crane able to lift loads of up to 200 tonnes.

Around 20 other support craft joined the operation, sounding their fog horns when the wreck finally emerged from the water.

UK TEAM TO RECONSTRUCT SHIP.

Sicilian archaeologists have long hoped that the find will convince the world that Gela played a key role in ancient times as a major trading centre in the Mediterranean.
Local officials hope the vessel will also turn the city into an attraction for culture lovers. ''This moment signals the rebirth of Gela,'' said culture department head Rosalba Panvini. ''The city's real history has emerged after 2,500 years, but the story doesn't end here,'' she added.

The pieces of the ship will be kept immersed in tanks full of the protective chemical polyethylene glycol before being transported to Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, where experts at the Mary Rose Archaeological Services will conserve and reconstruct the vessel. The culture department says it eventually plans to build a sea museum in Gela with the ship as the key exhibit.

Antinoro said Sicily's regional government was meanwhile raising the funds to recover another ship discovered near the ancient Greek vessel ''in the next few months''.

Gela was founded by settlers from Rhodes and Crete in the late 7th century BC and saw its pinnacle under the tyrants Hippocrates and Gelon, who also conquered neighbouring Syracuse.

The city gradually lost its political importance although it still played a major cultural role and the Greek playwright Aeschylus spent the last years of his life there.

It was destroyed and rebuilt many times and reconstructed by Frederick II in 1233.

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