2,200-year old amphoras contained wine

April 9, 2007

Parts of amphoras believed to be 2,200 years old uncovered in a Bosnia-Herzegovina swamp are suspected to have carried wine, experts said Monday.

Snjezana Vasilj, head of a Bosnian team of archaeologists, said a preliminary analysis showed amphoras, found at what are believed remains of the first-ever discovered Illyrian ships, were used for transporting wine, the Bosnian news agency FENA reported.

Late in March, Vasilj and her team found what they believed were the Illyrian ships in the Desilo location, more than 20 feet under the water level of the Hutovo Blato swamp, near Capljina in southern Bosnia.

The Illyrian ships are believed to have sailed from the Adriatic Sea up the Neretva River carrying merchandise to the inland Balkans.

The Illyrian ships, suspected dating back to the 2nd century B.C., are known to historians only through Greek and Roman legends as their physical existence had never been established, Vasilj said.

Illyrians are considered as the earliest inhabitants of what is today Bosnia-Herzegovina, long before the Roman Empire took control of the Balkans.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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