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MaSS

stepping stones of maritime history

History

Ancient rams
10 rams (Egadi 1-10) are witnesses of the final sea battle that was fought between the Roman fleet and the Carthaginian fleet in 241 BC. The scene of the famous naval battle between The Romans and The Carthaginians has been located near Levanzo.
It was the decisive sea battle of the First Punic war. A war between Rome and Carthage that lasted from 260-241 BC for the domination of Sicily and eventually the domination of the Western Mediterranean.
The Egadi rams are the first to be found in
an archaeological context, bear inscriptions,
mainly in Latin but also in Punic.
Roman anchors
Besides the rams also several lead roman
anchors were found near Levanzo.
The anchors were lying on the seabed in
line. It seems that the sailors cut the ropes
and left the anchors in order to get at sea
very quickly.
It seems the ships were warships lying in
ambush for Carthaginian merchant ships.
Because numerous other finds have been
made including helmets and amphorae
shards were found in the vicinity of the
anchors. Rams and other finds offers a rare
insight in this famous ancient naval battle
field.

Winged Victory on Egadi 6 (picture )

Marsala wrecks
A little further south near the city of Marsala (ancient Lilybaeum) two Punic
(war) ships were found dating to the same period. One of them is on display
in the Marsala nautical museum.
Marsala 1 wreck
Three different archaeological sites on the western Sicilian shore are related to the same period and event; the First Punic war.

Marsala 1

Description

In the summer of 2010 a bronze ram (latin; rostra) belonging to an ancient warship has been found. It was the third in succession found in the waters of Levanzo island western Sicily.
The Egadi Islands Project has so far (April 2013) yielded a total of 10 ancient bronze warship rams. The rams, each weighing around 125 kilogrammes are made of bronze. were mounted on the prow of the warships (ancient triremes or quinquiremes), and were used to ram enemy ships.

ram in situ

East Indiaman

Roman structures