For centuries, Tuscany has been a major crossroads of civilization. After the Etruscan Age and the Roman conquest, the territory that is modern Tuscany was dominated by Ostrogoths, Byzantines, and Lombards before the rise of the city-states and the flourishing of the Renaissance Age.

The Tuscan Sea played a major role in these historical events and, in particular, the islands of the Tuscan archipelago, situated as they are along the route which connected the Italian mainland (including Latium and Campania) to France and Spain. It is therefore likely that shipwrecks belonging to many different historical periods lie on the seafloor in this part of the ancient world.

After sponsoring part of a preliminary excavation of a first-century B.C., 65-meters deep, wreck with a cargo of ten dolia on Elba Island in 2008, in 2009 ProMare participated in a state-of-the-art AUV survey off Pianosa Island, and assisted the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana in excavating a Roman shipwreck with a cargo of Campanian A and B pottery, 18 meters deep, off the Island of Capraia.

The results of these projects provided new evidence of seafaring in Tuscany between the second century B.C. and the first century A.D. In particular, while the Capraia artifacts shed fresh light on the pottery trade between Campania and the Western Mediterranean in the Late Republican period, the 10 wine containers found in Marciana Marina, intact and well-preserved, offered compelling evidence of the flourishing trade in wine in the Early Imperial period.


The Tuscany Project in the news

More information can be found at FastiOnline here.