Lo Scoglietto, Tuscany, Italy, July 2014

Mission director: Pamela Gambogi, Nucleo Operativo Subacqueo (N.O.S.) della Soprintendenza Archeologica della Toscana

Wreck Presentation

The Scoglietto Wreck is a shipwreck that carried a big load of not painted and painted “majolica” (a very peculiar emailed Italian pottery) produced in Lazio in the early years of the XVIII century. This production can be refereed to Pope Clemente XI Albani (1700-1721), thanks to the papal coats of arm drawn on some beakers recovered from the wreck.
This site is very significative because there are very few wrecks of the early XVIII century and its recovery will be fundamental for studying the commercial, economic and artistic history of the early years of this period. The complete study of the wreck will help to define the economic and social background of the N-W part of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The shipwreck is located at 1 mile from Scoglietto and 2 miles from Portoferraio, at a depth of 73/75 m, in a muddy backdrop with little rocks. A fishing boat that found in the nets some beakers discovered the wreck. A first inspection (2005) was made by MIBAC-SBAT in cooperation with Italian ”Carabinieri” divers with their Pluto ROV equipped with a camera: this inspection has confirmed the archaeological hypothesis. A second inspection

Scoglietto, Clement... Scoglietto, Clement...

Pope Clemente XI papal coats(left) Beaker Recovered from wreck (center) The Beaker on the seabed (right).

Another inspection, in cooperation with Comex-Marseille (France) in July 2007, with the Super Achille ROV, has been realized to define the dimension of the wreck: this was estimated about 28 meters length, 3 or 4 meters wide and 2 meters high. .
There are no more details about this ship, but archaeologists hypothesize that under there is probably a big part of the shipwreck (a Feluca or a Tartana), that can also give information about the life of the crew.
The recovery of this wreck is of a big importance due to the high degree of risk that is subject to: nets of fishing boat and thefts are the main motivations for its protection considering the cultural importance of this site. The excavation of this site will define the real consistency of the wreck, the existence of a ship structure. It will quantify also the needed resources for its study and recovery and for its musealization.
In July 2014 a photogrammetric campaign was made by COMEX, AMU and MIBAC in the framework of GROPLAN project.<
This operation was done to realize a photographic recognition from the Comex submarine Remora 2000 in order to obtain some new input data for the recognition process.

  • "The Scoglietto survey, Elba Island, Tuscany, Italy" - PDF - in English-

  • Scoglietto orthophoto
    Click to view the high definition orthophoto.