Pontine Island, Zannone 2011
The survey off Ponza is a continuation and extension of our Pontine Island Project carried out together with our local partner: the Superintendence of Lazio acting on behalf of Italy’s Ministry of Culture. The first phase of the 2011 project was to survey the seabed up to the 150 meter contour off the north coast of Ponza as well a stretch of sea of the Botte reef. The systematic and comprehensive survey would facilitate the discovery of shipwrecks within this area as well as the creation of a geo-referenced map of potential targets within the study area. Phase two consisted of the visual verification and recording (photography and video) of anomalies detected during the above mentioned survey.
In order to achieve the above mentioned aims, the Trust deployed its Klein System 3900 side scan sonar which was deployed from the MV ISIS. The fish was towed along a series of predetermined lines which were laid out in a triangular form around the island. This ensured the methodical coverage of the remaining area earmarked for survey.
Following the completion of the survey, amongst the numerous anomalies identified in the area, two major targets were highlighted for further investigation in the limited time available for phase two.
Phase 2: ROV
The ROV was deployed to verify the two targets highlighted as ‘high priority’. Both targets turned out to be shipwrecks, one dating back to Greek Period and another which has yet to be dated:
Site 1: An exceptionally well-preserved shipwreck measuring just over 14 meters in length. The cargo is made up of at least two types of Graeco-Italic amphorae probably from Southern Italy or Sicily and datable to circa the 4th or 3rd Century BC. The content of these amphorae was wine. The anchor is present at what is presumably the bow end of the vessel. To one side of the cargo one may note an intact louterion that was probably used for rituals on board.
Site 2: This site consists mainly of ballast stones. As yet we have not identified the origin of these stones. Numerous pottery shards and a grinding stone point strongly to this being a shipwreck. One hypothesis is that the vessel was carrying an organic cargo such as grain which has since deteriorated.
For photos of project click (here)