Tuesday, November 14

A feast of Roman fish sauce

In 2000, boaters discovered a Roman shipwreck when their anchor got stuck in the cache of clay jars deposited there. Exploration of the wreck finally got underway this July and archaeologists are delighted with the more than 1,500 clay jars found there containing the Roman condiment of fish sauce.
The ship is estimated to have been 30 meters (100 feet) long with capacity for around 400 tons of cargo. That would make it twice the size of most other Roman shipwrecks found in the Mediterranean, de Juan said in an interview with the Associated Press.

The freight was an estimated 1,500 well-preserved clay amphoras, or two-handled jars, used in this case to hold fish sauce -- a prized condiment for wealthy Romans, he said.

For centuries the meter-tall amphoras lay undisturbed except for an occasional octopus that would pry one open, breaking the ceramic-and-mortar seal in search of food or shelter.


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