DISCOVERED NEW PUNIC SHIPWRECK IN THE NORTH OF MENORCA (BALEARIC ISLANDS, SPAIN)

Underwater amphora in the Sanisera Field School (PE 22).

Underwater amphora in the Sanisera Field School (PE 22).

The Sanisera Archaeology Institute held last year an exceptional discovery that shows the existence of Punic vessels in The Sanitja Port, northern Menorca in the pre-Roman period.

There are few known examples in the waters of Menorca, the most special is the Binisafuller wreck, whose cargo consisted of Iberian amphorae (I-3 and I-5) and Punicebusitan amphorae (PE 14 and PE 22). More than 150 containers were counted along the successive excavations. The chronology given by the most important authors indicates between 325-275 BC. Taking that into account, it is the oldest documented shipwreck in Menorca.

The discoveries made by the students of our school in 2013 unveiled contemporary remains from the Binisafuller wreck. Three models of the PE-22, PE-14 and I-3 types were found. It is almost identical to the wreck of Binisafuller cargo, so the proposed date of its sinking can be used for our remains.

This discovery increases the knowledge of navigation and the Punic trade in the Balearic Islands between the fourth and third centuries BC, something still quite unknown in our days. We know about the production of punicebusitan amphorae (PE), and various Iberian productions, and that the I-3 were produced in El Campello, a coastal settlement in Alicante, and served to package Iberian salting. While punicebusitan containers could serve to contain the famous Ebusitan wine (Ibiza), widely consumed by the indigenous population of Menorca.

The student who found the Punic Amphora in the Underwater Course in Archaeology

The student who found the Punic Amphora in the Underwater Course in Archaeology (PE 14).

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