Strange Rock In Ocean Turns Out To Be Ancient Helmet

Italian archaeologists, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Naples, have made a significant discovery in the Ionian Sea near Vendicari, off the southeast coast of Sicily.

The Superintendence of the Sea (SopMare), responsible for safeguarding ancient artifacts in maritime environments, unveiled their find on Thursday, announcing the retrieval of a remarkably preserved metal battle helmet. The helmet, found resting approximately 16 feet below the surface, was obscured by concretions, mineral formations that had accumulated over centuries.

Images shared by SopMare depict the helmet nestled amongst the seabed rocks, its presence blending seamlessly with the underwater environment. Described as “practically intact,” the artifact is believed to date back to the late 1400s to the 1600s, showcasing a design characteristic of Iberian-style helmets known as “cabasset” or “capacete.”

Such helmets feature a semi-spherical or oval cup with a rim, possibly adorned with metal spheres or a wavy ridge along its edge. These were commonly utilized by infantry and naval forces during the period.

Assisted by a scuba diver, the archaeologists carefully extracted the centuries-old helmet from its aquatic resting place, marking a momentous occasion as it emerged from the water for the first time in possibly six centuries.

The discovery sheds light on historical military equipment and maritime activities prevalent during the late medieval and early modern eras. SopMare plans to conduct further underwater investigations in the vicinity to ascertain whether the find stands alone or is indicative of a broader presence of late medieval or modern relics in the area.

The significance of this discovery extends beyond its archaeological value; it offers a glimpse into the military practices and cultural exchanges of past civilizations, particularly in the Mediterranean region.

As experts delve deeper into the context surrounding the helmet’s deposition, they aim to unravel additional insights into the historical narratives of Sicily and its maritime heritage. The collaboration between governmental agencies and academic institutions underscores the importance of interdisciplinary approaches in uncovering and preserving our shared cultural heritage.

With ongoing efforts to explore and document submerged archaeological sites, such discoveries highlight the importance of protecting underwater cultural heritage from looting and environmental degradation.

The meticulous retrieval and preservation of artifacts like the Iberian-style helmet exemplify the dedication of archaeologists and researchers to safeguarding history for future generations.

Fox News


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