More Roman history is just waiting to be discovered and brought back to the surface for amateur divers who go beneath the waves in Murcia.
Recently, an amateur scuba diver in Águilas spotted a half-buried Roman amphora, dating back almost 1900 years, just a few metres from the shore at Playa de las Delicias.
After careful extraction and extensive study from archaeology experts, the ceramic piece was identified as belonging to the Dressel 20E category of amphora, which was used to transport and contain oil during the period from 110 to 150 AD.
But although it was an extraordinary discovery, diving instructor – Javi Espinosa of Estela diving centre in Aguilas – believes there is plenty more waiting to be discovered and has seen a huge number of historical antiques found just beneath the sea bed in the region.
He said: “This piece was the best we have found but I know there is more waiting to be discovered and anyone could be lucky enough to find it.
“The sea conditions are very different this year, which has moved a lot of sand. I have been escorting dive groups for seven years and we have found a lot of things dating back hundreds and sometimes thousands of years.
“It doesn’t happen every time, but it happens and it’s still amazing to see it. It can be found by anyone on any trip. You never know when something incredible can be found.”
Roman anchors, fishing equipment, containers and coins are among some of the many items to have been found in the same dive location, underlining the importance of the region as a trading route during the Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsula.
But aside from Roman history, divers can come face-to-face with a variety of marine life and flora, and numerous, fascinating historic shipwrecks.
There are several zones, which are regarded as exceptional places for diving, including: Cabo de Palos – Islas Hormigas (Marine Reserve) and Isla Grosa or Cartagena, La Azohía & Cabo Tiñoso (Marine Reserve), Mazarrón and Águilas.
There are also numerous diving centres offering courses and dive experiences for all levels: from beginners, to more technical dives to large shipwrecks, underwater caves and crevices, suitable for the experienced diver. A diving ‘baptism’ for beginners costs from €55, while a full diving course from €340.
Access to Costa Cálida, Región de Murcia, is simple as it is served by Murcia-San Javier airport all year round, while Alicante airport is also nearby. Both airports are served by numerous other airlines flying from a wide variety of UK and Irish airports.