They expected to find colorful fish and came across a treasure. While exploring the Mediterranean waters near Camogli, two professional divers discovered the wreckage of a large wooden ship dating from the Renaissance.
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The material not normally resistant to salt water, Gabriele Succi and Edoardo Sbaraini understood that it was an important find and warned the local authorities before continuing the exploration of the site with other divers from the Superintendence of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape and supported by underwater riflemen.
And indeed the archaeologists of Camogli did not hide their enthusiasm at the sight of the wooden hull of the wreck. It could be that of a much sought after galleon which sank in the region in 1579: the "Santo Spirito e Santa Maria di Loreto", one of the largest Italian merchant ships of the 16th century.
This discovery is an event for the town of Camogli. Its mayor, Francisco Olivari notably published on Facebook photos of the dives carried out on the spot.
After the discovery of the wreckage, new dives and excavations were launched to a depth of 164 feet. Facebook Capture Francisco Olivari Sindico
"A find of great interest"
Even at the national level, it is a "find of great interest" because it is "a wreck from the beginning of the modern era of which very few examples are known in the Mediterranean ", explains in a press release from the Italian Superintendence. It would be a precious piece to reconstruct the history of the navy at that time.
Studies are underway and in view of the importance of the discovery, the Italian Supervision has started a vast research program with international partners to allow precise dating of the wreck and to try to identify the ship.
If it is indeed the "Santo Spirito e Santa Maria di Loreto", the couple of divers puts an end to intense research begun in 1970. And their history can be reconstructed thanks to archives kept in Genoa in particular.