Archeologists have started exploring a sunken 1st century Roman vessel carrying about 1,500 clay amphorae, some still containing nearly 2,000-year-old fish bones nestled inside.
Boaters found its cargo of amphorae in 2000 when their anchor got tangled with one of the two-handled jars.
Exploration of the site a mile off Alicante in southern Spain began in July, said Carles de Juan, a co-director of the project, who works for the Valencia regional government.
The ship, estimated to be 100 feet long with a capacity for about 400 tons of cargo, is twice the size of most other Roman shipwrecks found in the Mediterranean, De Juan said.
The well-preserved clay amphorae were used to hold fish sauce -- a prized condiment for wealthy Romans, he said.
For nearly 2,000 years, the 3-foot-tall amphorae lay undisturbed except for the occasional octopus that would pry one open, breaking the ceramic-and-mortar seal in search of food or shelter.