The underwater archaeological site of Cala Minnola is located on the East coast of the island of Levanzo (Trapani) in the archipelago of the Aegadian Islands. The site preserves the wreck of a Roman cargo ship at a depth of 27 m to 30 m.
The shipwreck is known since a long time and it has been subjected to frequent looting. The research done in the summer 2005 has fully brought to light its remains. These are the remains of a load of wine amphorae of the Dressel 1b type (about fifty) and fragments of black-painted pottery (ceramics used on board) dated to the first half of the 1st century BC.
Few are the traces of the wooden elements of the vessel, and only one lead pipe (belonging to the bilge pipe) is present. The place of origin of the ship seems to be sure thanks to an inscription embossed on one amphora. It shows the name of PAPIA, a very important Roman family that owned vast land holdings in Lazio. Today we know that this family produced and exported wine throughout the Mediterranean. At that time, the lead of the family was probably a woman: Tertia, which we know to be lived around the first half of the 1st century BC.
Today, we can see on the seabed the original position of the ship’s cargo after his rolling over the rocky slope. The fall ended on the sandy seabed where we found the remaining amphorae that are visible with guided tours.