Neolithic obsidian discovered off the coast of the island of Capri (5 photos)

Category: Archeology, PEGI 0+
29 November 2023

On November 20, Naples police recovered a piece of processed obsidian from a depth of more than 30 meters off the coast of Capri, Italy. Several such artifacts from a Neolithic shipwreck have been discovered near the famous White Grotto.

The dimensions of the found block are approximately 28 x 20 x 15 cm, and the weight is 8 kg. It shows traces of handling, suggesting that it was trade cargo that fell to the bottom as a result of a shipwreck. It will undergo cleaning and become an exhibit.

The ship itself has not been preserved, and the area where fragments of natural volcanic glass are scattered is quite extensive. Experts intend to continue the search and lift the remaining blocks; perhaps fragments of the ancient ship will be found.

Obsidian began to be used in the Neolithic era for making weapons and cutting tools. It splits just as easily as flint but produces a sharper edge.

At the end of the 19th century, a large cache of obsidian blocks and more than 800 finished objects made of obsidian, 7 thousand years old, was discovered in Capri. Recent analysis has shown that they originate from Lipari, a volcanic island north of Sicily. The presence of Liparian obsidian on Capri suggests that there was active land and sea trade.

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