The cursed shipwreck from Lipari

The "cursed" Lipari wreckage




Original painting from 1977, depicting the disposition of archaeological findings at the bottom of Capistello Shoal and their orientation at the moment of the discovery.

This is about a ship which sunk about 300 b.C. on the eastern side of the island of Lipari, carrying a load of amphoras and black-painted ceramic. The shipwreck was found on a steeply-sloped seabed, degrading until an explored depth of 102 metres.
The ship, after ramming on the top of Capistello Shoal, sunk and spilt all of its load, which appeared to be scattered on an area larger than 1200 square meters.
The shipwreck was discovered on 1966. A long series of pillage attempts ended up tragically in several cases, because of the high depth, until the site was named "the cursed shipwreck".
Serious archaelogical investigations were begun by the Germans, but they were suspended almost immediately following a dreadful accident in which two archaeologists lost their lives.
Ten years later, in 1976, the work started again thanks to the american intervention by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (AINA) and the Sub Sea Oil Services, exploiting appropriate technical means such as a diving bell, hyperbaric chamber, closed-circuit telephone and television and a ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle).
The use of modern technology allowed a full exploration of the wreck, which ended on 1978.
Il sito, oltre a conservare le strutture lignee dello scafo, custodisce ancora numerosi reperti, e l'indagine appare ben lungi dall'essersi conclusa del tutto.
Il fasciame appariva semplice e non aveva nessun rivestimento protettivo in piombo; i madieri e le ordinate risultavano alternate. Alcune parti del carico conservavano la posizione di stivaggio, con gruppi di anfore disposte verticalmente e pile ceramica a vernice nera riposte negli interstizi.
Il carico risultava formato essenzialmente da anfore del tipo cosiddetto greco italico per il trasporto del vino, contrassegnate da bolli e trattate internamente con resina. Molte delle anfore erano ancora chiuse da un tappo di sughero sigillato con resina.
I bolli impressi sulle anfore riportano nomi greci come Eúxenos e Dion.
Diverse centinaia i vasi a vernice nera di varie forme. Per lo più si tratta di piatti, coppe decorate e lucerne su alto piede.