Religion Aboard Ancient Ships
New evidence that ancient Mediterranean sailors performed religious ceremonies and sacrifices on board their ships, according to new findings from a 2,000-year-old shipwreck.
Using a deep sea mini-submarine, archaeologists of the Sicilian Sea Superintendency and Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) divers found the wreck and its cargo of jars at a depth of 420 feet in the waters of Sicily’s Aeolian islands.
In the area of the bow — a portion of the wooden hull is still preserved — the archaeologists found a terracotta incense burner called thymiaterion. Consisting of a large bowl supported by a column, the thymiaterion had a base embellished with stylized sea waves. A Greek inscription of three letters (ETH) was also found on the base.