When was the ship wrecked?
The ship, a Roman merchant ship of some 300 tons, had sunk on a well-used trade route from the Eastern to the Western Mediterranean. The wreck and its contents are consistent with a date of 80–50 BC. The famous Jacques Cousteau recovered Pergamese coins from about 86–67 BC, which with Ephesian coins of 70–60 BC reinforces a view that this had been a treasure ship on its way to Rome including booty from Pergamon (circa 84 BC) after the First Mithradatic War. A reasonable date for the wreck is thus 85–60 BC. The ship itself is thought to built, at least in part, from much older timber, 200±43 BC. It has been speculated that the ship foundered because of its age, and perhaps because it was overloaded with treasures including a number of particularly large statues.