National Geographic Society

This photo was taken in January 1954, while marine explorer Jacques Cousteau was assisting in the excavation of two Roman ships that had foundered on the Grand Congloué rock, off Marseilles. The wrecks lay one on top of the other, the lower wreck from the early second century B.C. and the upper wreck from the late second or early first century B.C. The upper wreck contained 1,500 amphoras, many stamped “SES,” the trademark of the Sestius family, whose factory in Cosa, Italy, produced amphoras and wine (see the second sidebar to this article). In the photo, the jars at left bear the “SES” stamp, while the jars at far right are older Greco-Italic amphoras from the lower wreck.