ANCIENT FLEET DISCOVERED OFF SICILY
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[ August 16th 2005 ]

Following two years of extensive underwater searches around a series of islands that lay west of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, Italian archaeologists believe they have uncovered a fleet of ships thought sunk in the battle of the Aegates Islands more than 2,000 years ago, Reuters reports today.

"This project has an enormous historical value, but perhaps more important is the relevance for archaeology," Sebastiano Tusa, Sicily's chief of marine culture, told Reuters on Friday. "What we find will help us understand how wars were waged at that time and how battleships were built."

The Battle of the Aegates Islands was the final naval battle between the fleets of Carthage and the Roman Republic during the First Punic War and marked a turning point for the two powers. Carthage went into decline after its defeat, reports Reuters.

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