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Italian archaeologists recently discovered a well-preserved metal battle helmet in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Sicily. The helmet, believed to be from the late 1400s to 1600s, was found by researchers from the University of Naples with the help of the Superintendence of the Sea (SopMare), a Sicilian governmental organization responsible for protecting ancient artifacts in sea waters. The helmet, known as a “cabasset” or “capacete,” is of Iberian style and was found around 16 feet deep covered in concretions.

The helmet, which was found near Vendicari, a small island on Sicily’s southeast coast, was carefully brought to the surface by a scuba diver, possibly for the first time in as many as 600 years. The unique design of the helmet, with its semi-spherical or oval cup and low upper ridge wavy or reinforced by metal spheres, was very common among infantry troops of that time period, as well as by ship troops. The discovery raises questions about whether more artifacts may be found in the area, prompting further research by the teams involved.

SopMare announced the discovery in a Facebook post, sharing photos of the helmet blending in with the rocks on the sea floor. The organization plans to continue searching the area for more information, hoping to determine if the helmet is an isolated artifact or if it may be linked to other relics from the late medieval or modern period. The University of Naples researchers who assisted with the discovery will likely play a significant role in further exploration of the area.

The find adds to the growing list of underwater discoveries in the region, with ancient shipwrecks and artifacts dating back as early as 3000 BC uncovered by researchers. The successful recovery of the helmet demonstrates the ongoing efforts of archaeological teams to protect and preserve historical treasures in the marine environment. The helmet’s unique Iberian style offers valuable insight into the military equipment used during the late medieval and early modern periods.

Fox News Digital reached out to SopMare for additional information on the discovery, highlighting the importance of continued research and documentation of such artifacts. The uncovering of the “practically intact” metal battle helmet in the Ionian Sea showcases the potential for further exciting discoveries in the area. The collaboration between academic institutions and governmental organizations in the exploration of historical sites provides a valuable opportunity to deepen our understanding of the past. By preserving and studying artifacts like the helmet, researchers can piece together the puzzle of the region’s rich maritime history.

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