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Museu Nacional Arqueològic de Tarragona

Tarraco and the sea

View of the room devoted to Tarraco and the sea.

View of the room devoted to Tarraco and the sea.

Tarragona grew and became wealthy thanks to its privileged location as regards maritime trade routes and inland connections. Although its port was initially the point where the army disembarked, it later became the gateway for trade, culture and a new social and political order.

Many of the items on display here were found on the seabed and constitute a significant sample of maritime trade and transport.

Due to storms -- especially those caused by the sudden onset of the strong SE wind-- and sailors’ bad luck or carelessness,  the coast of Tarragona is a deposit of sunken  ships and major portions of their cargo. It is not surprising, therefore, that submarine archaeology around Tarragona has resulted in significant discoveries, especially in recent decades. The recovery in 1948, near La Punta de la Móra, of a marble sarcophagus beautifully decorated with the myth of Hippolytus and Phaedra is one of the most remarkable of these finds.

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