Underwater archaeologists have recovered a treasure trove of artifacts off the coast of Sicily from the site of the first ancient naval battle ever discovered , including warship rams, helmets, armor, and weapons dating back 2,000 years.
What was the Battle of the Egadi Islands?
The artifacts are the remnants of the Battle of the Egadi Islands (Battle of the Aegates) – the last clash from the first Punic War which took place in 241 BC. The Romans fought the Carthaginians in a battle that culminated from more than 20 years of warring as the Romans struggled to gain a foothold in the Mediterranean sea.
While the Carthaginians were much more powerful on the water, the Romans lay in wait trapping the Carthaginians and blocking off their sea route in a sudden attack. Up to 50 Carthaginian ships were sunk, killing up to 10,000 men. The Roman victory set them on the road for Europe-wide domination.