Shipwrecks
 
SS Central America
SS Gairsoppa
SS Mantola
HMS Victory
SS Republic
Black Swan
HMS Sussex
Tortugas
Blue China

Other Shipwrecks

During Odyssey's search expeditions we uncover numerous shipwrecks and even sunken war planes
Ceramic storage jars dating to the Roman era carpet a shipwreck site discovered by Odyssey
The mangled remains of a modern fighter jet discovered during one of Odyssey's search expeditions
The site code named "Melkarth" is an ancient Punic shipwreck covered by large ceramic storage jars
Odyssey search expeditions have uncovered more recent shipwrecks including this steel-hulled wreck

Other Shipwrecks

The ocean floor is scattered with thousands of shipwrecks, spanning centuries of maritime travel, trade, warfare and exploration. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in fact, has estimated that there are over 3 million shipwrecks in the world.

During Odyssey's global search operations we discover numerous shipwrecks encompassing centuries of world history, including some of the earliest sea voyages. These discoveries, located hundreds and even thousands of feet below the ocean surface, range from ancient Roman and Phoenician trading vessels to modern fishing vessels and war planes. We have even found the mangled remains of a modern fighter jet, its location dutifully reported to the Navy. Supported by the most sophisticated technologies, our search expeditions have located hundreds of shipwrecks and other items as small as 20th century boom boxes and 55 gallon drums.

One of the more fascinating wrecks Odyssey has discovered lies almost 3,000 feet (914 meters) below the surface of the western Mediterranean. The site, located in 1998 and named "Melkarth" after the Phoenician god of sailors, is an ancient shipwreck covered by a quantity of large ceramic jars, or amphorae, 3 feet in height and some containing what appears to be their original contents. Little of the original ship structure remains. As viewed on the seabed, the style, design and quantity of these extraordinary finds suggest “Melkarth” is the remains of a Punic merchant vessel dating from the 4th-3rd Century BCE and intended for open sea travel. A Punic wreck of this era, especially one in deep water, is a tremendously important archaeological and historical discovery.

Analysis of the “Melkarth” amphorae, suggests the majority at the site were from the Phoenician clay quarry and kiln at Kuass, a Moroccan site excavated and documented by the late French archaeologist Michel Ponisch. The distinctive ceramic style was manufactured at this one site only, and for a period of about 100-150 years. While this evidence presents a probable timeframe for the shipwreck, it also strongly suggests the vessel had called at the Phoenician North African port of Lixis on the Atlantic Ocean. One of the primary exports from that city was dried fish, a highly-valued import at some Grecian ports.

For centuries, the Phoenicians' dominated trade and established coastal colonies throughout the Mediterranean. Some historians believe these "merchant venturers" were the ancient world's greatest navigators and explorers. In search of precious metals, evidence suggests the Phoenicians traded as far as present-day Great Britain, known for its tin. Historical records also confirm the Phoenicians achieved the first circumnavigation of Africa almost 2,000 years before it was repeated by Vasco da Gama. Further evidence in the form of what some historians believe are maps on Phoenician coins suggest these ancient explorers may have ventured across the Atlantic to discover the New World long before the Europeans.

The vessel now called "Melkarth", may have originated in Carthage, the center of Phoenician civilization. Its travels perhaps included stops between southeastern and Southern Spain, ports along North Africa and in ancient Greece, including Rhodes and Crete. With its full cargo, no one will ever truly know what happened to this ship one disastrous day over 2,200 years ago.

The ocean floor embraces the world’s most fascinating museum, an enormous wealth of historical treasure and world history, much of which remains concealed, unseen by the vast majority. Yet with each search expedition, Odyssey uncovers new shipwrecks and new opportunities to share our exciting undersea adventures with the broader public.

 

 

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