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Smuggled cargo found on Roman shipwreck

Investigation of a Roman shipwreck in Italy has revealed evidence of ancient smuggling activity.

Following an analysis of the jars and their contents, Tusa and colleagues concluded that the 52- by 16-foot ship was sailing from North Africa when she sank some 1,700 years ago, probably while trying to enter the local river Birgi.

In North Africa the vaulting tubes cost a quarter of what builders paid for them in Rome.

“It was a somewhat tolerated smuggling activity, used by sailors to round their poor salaries. They bought these small tubes cheaper in Africa, hid them everywhere within the ship, and then re-sold them in Rome,” Tusa said.

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Story: Rosella Lorenzi, Discovery News | Photo: Sebastiano Tusa

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