Traces of 2,400-year-old Greek wreck off southern Albania





Encrusted with tiny shells and smelling strongly of the sea, a 2,400-year-old Greek jar lies in a saltwater bath in Durres Museum, on Albania's Adriatic coast.

Part of a sunken shipment of up to 60 ceramic vessels, the 67-centimeter (26-inch) storage jar, or amphora, was the top find from what organizers say is the first archaeological survey of this small Balkan nation's seabed, conducted by U.S. and Albanian experts.

"Touch it, touch it. It's luck," said mission leader George Robb of the Key West, Florida-based RPM Nautical Foundation. "You're touching something that was made before Plato was born."

Launched in July, the month-long survey was the first step in compiling an underwater cultural heritage map that could eventually plot the position of sunken fleets from ancient and mediaeval times believed to lie along Albania's 360-kilometer (220-mile) coastline.


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