Ancient shipwreck points to site of major Roman battle





The remains of a sunken warship recently found in the Mediterranean Sea may confirm the site of a major ancient battle in which Rome trounced Carthage.

The year was 241 B.C. and the players were the ascending Roman republic and the declining Carthaginian Empire, which was centered on the northernmost tip of Africa. The two powers were fighting for dominance in the Mediterranean in a series of conflicts called the Punic Wars.

Archaeologists think the newly discovered remnants of the warship date from the final battle of the first Punic War, which allowed Rome to expand farther into the Western Mediterranean.

The shipwreck was found near the island of Levanzo, west of Sicily, which is where historical documents place the battle.

In the summer of 2010, Royal and his colleagues discovered a warship's bronze ram - the sharp, prolonged tip of the ship's bow that was used to slam into an enemy vessel. This tactic was heavily used in ancient naval battles and was thought to have played an important role in the Punic fights....



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