Roman period treasure found near old Israeli port

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Jerusalem, May 16 (IANS) Israeli divers have discovered priceless statues from the Roman period, including a figurine of moon goddess Luna, as well as coins in the sea near the ancient port of Caesarea, an authority said.

Two amateur divers discovered the marine cargo in what the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) called “the largest assemblage of marine artefacts to be discovered in the last 30 years”, Xinhua news agency reported.

The two divers passed their findings to the IAA, which estimated the treasure belonged to a merchant ship that sank in the late Roman period 1,600 years ago.

“Many of the artefacts are bronze and in an extraordinary state of preservation,” the IAA said.

Among the findings are “a bronze lamp depicting the image of the sun god Sol, a figurine of the moon goddess Luna, a lamp in the image of the head of an African slave, and fragments of three life-size bronze cast statutes”.

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