The site at the time of its discovery – the tumulus
When the ship was lost, it sank down on a flat sea bed clear of corals with a continuous current flowing over it carrying a lot of alluvia and sand in suspension. It sank down "flat" without breaking up, and a tumulus quickly formed over it; this was 3 to 3.5 metres high at the time of discovery. This tumulus protected the hull and hence the cargo too. When the ship was found, some ceramics could be seen completely exposed in the section comprising approximately the upper third of the tumulus. The middle third of the tumulus was a layer of sand where the ceramics had lost their glaze, and the bottom third a layer of mud which had preserved the objects remarkably well: here the glaze on the ceramics was intact.
Excerpt from the film "Le Trésor" realised by Henri de Gerlache / © Alizé - Arctic Productions