Divers have made an "exceptional" find of Roman artifacts which has been described as one of most important archeological discoveries of last 20 years in Italy.
Lurking beneath layers of mud off the coast of Genoa archaeologists are now protecting the site from thieves.
"The vessel, which contains hundreds of valuable amphorae -- earthenware vessels traditionally used to transport wine -- was spotted by police divers roughly one mile from the shore of Alassio in 160 feet of water, Italy's ANSA news agency reported Friday.
"Police said they have been tipped off to the whereabouts of the ship during a year-long investigation into stolen archaeological artifacts sold on the black market in northern Italy.
"This is an exceptional find," Colonel Francesco Schilardi, who led the police dive team, said. "Now our goal is to preserve the ship and keep thieves out. We are executing surveys and excavations to study the contents of the boat which is perfectly intact."