8,000-year-old relic found in ocean but experts say it’s just the start

An 8,000-year-old relic found in the ocean off the coast of Naples has sparked a “mind-blowing” breakthrough that researchers say could mean more treasure being located. The discovery was made close to the island of Capri, a plush island in the Bay of Naples in southern Italy earlier this year.

Among the items found included a series of mysterious volcanic glass artifacts, which were located near the White Grotto – a cavern close to the island’s famous Blue Grotto.

And researchers say that the remains of a Neolithic shipwreck dating back between 8,000 and 5,000 years could be located close to the White Grotto.

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Naples Police Department, alongside marine archaeologists, worked to recover the objects from the water, which were made of obsidian – a black form of shiny volcanic glass.

According to the authorities, the most important find was retrieved on the seabed, with a weight approximately eight kilograms (17.6 pounds) and measuring around 28 x 20 x 15 centimetres (11 x 8 x 6 inches).

It was spotted at a depth of around 30 to 40 metres (98 to 132 feet) but remains a puzzle to baffled researchers who do not know what the item was used for.

Mariano Nuzzo, the superintendent of archaeology, fine arts, and landscape for the Naples metropolitan area, said last month: “It is necessary to carry out an extensive instrumental survey of the seabed to verify the possible presence of the hull or other cargo material.”

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Researchers are now hoping to find a Stone Age shipwreck in the water where the discoveries made in what would be a first for archaeologists.

Speaking to Newsweek, Sandro Barucci, a researcher and author, said “the remains of a Neolithic hull in Mediterranean waters have never been found to date”.

He continued: “There are cases of Neolithic boats found on the European mainland or in freshwater, lakes, and rivers. But the Mediterranean Sea has a pleasant temperature and salinity for the wood-eating mollusk, Teredo navalis.

“Thus, wooden ships of all ages, when they sink in the Mediterranean, are prey for these mollusks.”

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The expert added: “At Capri, if the boat had sunk quickly into the sand and remained protected, it would perhaps be possible to find some wooden parts, especially if it were a dugout canoe โ€“ i.e. made from a single large hollowed-out tree trunk.

“But it would truly be a very rare event, indeed unique.”

It remains unclear if there hull of the ship would ever be found.

However, in a bid to secure it, Nuzzo hinted that more explorations of the seabed could clarify how the objects were left on the seabed.

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