The underwater archaeological site named Punta Scifo D can be considered one of the greatest wrecks of Roman stone-carrying ships ever discovered. According to recent studies, the ship was carrying a load of approximately 357 tonnes (1). It was discovered in 1986 by Luigi Cantafora, a diver from Crotone and author of various discoveries. In 1987 the Cooperativa Aquarius started a brief excavation campaign on behalf of the Archaeological Superintendency of Calabria (2).

The underwater site is characterised by the presence of 54 great blocks and slabs of white marble. A new investigation, organised in 2011 and 2013 by Carlo Beltrame and Salvatore Medaglia, allowed for creating an accurate photomosaic of the cargo, documenting and sampling the marble blocks, and studying the pottery on board of the navis lapidaria (3).

The petrographic analyses conducted by Lorenzo Lazzarini showed that the ship was transporting mainly Proconnesian and Docimium marble. The Pentelic marble is represented only by one small slab.

The examination of pottery allows for dating the sinking of the ship to the first half of the III century A.D. (4)

A survey of the ship allowed for ascertaining that the ship was about 40 meters long and 14 meters wide. The only wooden element of the hull, recovered in 1987, was reinterpreted as a fragment of the sheer with a double mortise and tenon joint, rather than a part of a keel as it was thought to be (4). This peculiar technical solution allows us to deduce that the ship was built for carrying very heavy loads.


Parte del carico lapideo del Relitto Punta Scifo D (foto Salvatore Medaglia)


1 MEDAGLIA 2015, p. 12 BELTRAME, LAZZARINI 2013, p. 147

2 MEDAGLIA 2008, pp. 109-110; MEDAGLIA 2010, p. 295.


  2. MEDAGLIA 2015, p. 5.



Medaglia S., Beltrame C., Lazzarini L. 2013, La navis marmorum di età romana ‘Punta Scifo D’ (Crotone). Risultati preliminari della prima campagna di indagini subacquee, in Rivista di Archeologia XXXVII, pp. 137-165.

Medaglia S. 2008, Per un censimento dei relitti antichi lungo la costa crotonese. Nota preliminare, in Ricerche archeologiche e storiche in Calabria: modelli e prospettive, “Atti del convegno di studi in onore di Giovanni Azzimmaturo (Cosenza 2007)”, Cosenza, pp. 93-120.

Medaglia S. 2010, Carta archeologica della provincia di Crotone: paesaggi storici e insediamenti nella Calabria centro-orientale dalla Preistoria all’Altomedioevo, Ricerche IV. Collana del Dipartimento di Archeologia e Storia delle Arti, Università della Calabria, Rossano.

Medaglia S. 2015, La navis lapidaria di Punta Scifo D. Guida all’itinerario archeologico subacqueo, Isola Capo Rizzuto (Kr)