London, June 10 : Archaeologists working on a 2,350 year-old ancient shipwreck in Cyprus, have determined that the ship was carrying the renowned red wine of Chios, which is perhaps the most expensive Greek wine of the Classical period.
Evidence for this is the discovery of six amphorae in the shipwreck, which were the vessels used exclusively for the sea transport of wine.
According to expedition leader Dr Stella Demesticha, six whole amphorae and three partly preserved ones were recovered by divers from the mid-4th century BC commercial ship, which lies at a depth of 45 metres in the area of the village Mazotos, about 2.5 kilometres from the shore.
"About 500 amphorae are now visible on the surface but there may be many more buried below the sand," according to a statement from the Antiquities Department.
Apart from the Chian amphorae, which form the overwhelming majority, there are also other types from islands of the North Aegean.
During this, the second season of survey from May 20-31, the shipwreck was photographed and drawn and a small sample of the various types of amphora was salvaged for the purposes of study and further research.
According to the Department, conservation of the amphorae, has already begun in the Larnaca Museum. The marine biodiversity of the area of the shipwreck is also under study.
"The research is of great importance to the nautical and economic history of the Eastern Mediterranean, because the shipwreck of Mazotos is one of few finds dating to the Classical period in the Eastern Mediterranean and in addition its state of preservation is excellent," according to a statement from the department.
The ship is said to be the most important underwater find in Cyprus since the Kyrenia ship was discovered and salvaged in the late sixties.
The Mazotos wreck is estimated to be 50 years older than the Kyrenia, which sank in 300 BC.