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Thread: Artifacts from Naval Battle between Carthage and Rome

  1. #1
    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Artifacts from Naval Battle between Carthage and Rome

    It took place in 241 B.C. near Sicily.

    It seems that the Carthaginians were "recycling" Roman warships.


    "In the battle, a Carthaginian fleet that had been trying to bring supplies to one of Carthage's armies in Sicily was intercepted by the Roman navy, which proceeded to destroy much of the fleet. The victory was so resounding that Carthage was forced to sue for peace, agreeing to terms that favored Rome. [10 Epic Battles that Changed History]"

    "Why there are so many Montefortino helmets is a bit of a mystery. One explanation is that the Carthaginians hired mercenaries from Gaul and Iberia and used them to crew many of their ships in the fleet, Murray said. Soldiers in those areas sometimes used Montefortino helmets."

    "They also found several amphorae — a type of pot often used to store liquids — scattered around the remains of the Roman ships. This is odd, since any pots that went down while being stored within a ship should have been clustered together, Murray said.

    "It's as if they were jettisoned out into the sea, and they separated one from another and then sank to the seafloor," Murray said. One possible explanation is that, at some point in the battle, Carthaginian sailors realized that their mission was not going to succeed and jettisoned the cargo (supplies meant for the Carthaginian army in Sicily) in an attempt to make their ships lighter and faster, making it easier for them to flee from the Roman fleet, Murray said."

    "In addition to being widely dispersed, "none of the amphora are lined with a tar-like substance" that prevents liquid from evaporating while it is being stored, Murray said. This means that any liquids inside would have partly evaporated by the time the pots had reached Sicily. Consequently, even if the Carthaginian fleet had reached Sicily, part of the cargo would have gone to waste. While amphorae could also be used to store grain, ancient depictions of cargo being taken off ships indicate that grain was more commonly put into sacks, he said.

    Perhaps the Carthaginians were so desperate to bring supplies to their army that they didn't have time to line the amphorae, Murray said. Another possibility, he said, is that the Carthaginians didn't have any sacks available and decided to use amphorae instead to bring dry goods to Sicily. Scientists are in the process of performing chemical tests to try to determine what the containers held, according to Murray."

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  2. #2
    Regular Member Juan.delajara's Avatar
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    Thanks for the interesting information Angela

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