2300-year-old Anchor Devoted to Goddess of Love Hauled Up – Ancient Origins

Marine archaeologists have made many important ancient discoveries in the Mediterranean and now an Italian team have uncovered an anchor at the bottom of the sea. It is 2,300 years old and it is inscribed with a dedication to Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love. This find is allowing experts to understand the mindset of ancient mariners and a little-known aspect of one of the classical world’s most popular deities.

The inscribed weight was found off the coast of Sicily. It was identified by a Sicilian diving center’s manager, Marcello Basile, lying some 60 feet (18.3 m) deep on the seabed.  It was located in an area of the Mediterranean that has yielded many important historical artifacts. Basile alerted a local heritage and environmental organization the Soprintendenza del Mare, and a team of divers returned to the site, retrieving the weight from the seafloor.

Goddess of Love

One of the anchor’s arms was inscribed with a dolphin and this is an apotropaic symbol. It represents Aphrodite, who was the Greek goddess of love, passion, beauty and fertility. Her cult was derived from the Phoenicians and she was a very popular deity, especially with women. It is almost certain that the weight came from a Greek vessel.

The 2300-year-old anchor dedicated to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, found by divers off the coast of Sicily. (Soprintendenza del Mare)

The 2300-year-old anchor dedicated to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of