In La Seyne-sur-Mer, the discovery of treasures in the wreck of a ship that sank in the 19th century.

Archaeologists are currently investigating a wreck off the coast of Seyne sur Mer, whose shipwreck dates back at least 3 centuries. The first dives made it possible to fish out the treasures of the Riviera buried 75 meters below the waters of the Var.

The mysterious Cap Sicié 4 emerges from the abyss. It is a shipwreck, a piece of history buried for two centuries at a depth of 75 meters and taken from oblivion to be studied by archaeologists.

The shipwreck would have occurred between 1800 and 1850. But it wasn’t until 2005, during a trip off the coast of Les Sablettes in La Seyne-sur-Mer, that an echo panicked the depth sounder on Eric’s boat, the Alberola. Curious, he dives and discovers a wreck, the first of its kind, almost intact. Claimed invention to Drassm (Department of Underwater and Underwater Archaeological Research). The lack of technical means to inspect the area, this is forgotten. But the divers did not say their last words.

Resurrection of Cape Sicié 4

For several days now, very strange underwater explorations have been going on off the coast of Cap Sicié. The subject of this research comes from the first half of the 19th century: a canning jar.

“The Biot jar allows food to be transported and there is an interesting business with these jars as they leave the place of production in the Alpes-Maritimes to the final destination in Marseille to be sold a little bit everywhere,” explains Marine Sadania, archaeologist and science manager. The ship, probably a tartan, carried an interesting cargo of 133 glasses and a quantity of ceramic kitchenware.

The collected treasures will then be sent to the headquarters of the Department of Underwater and Underwater Archaeological Research in Marseille. Their analysis could reveal some little-known aspects of local trade and goods transport of the time.

In 2005, a wreck was found in La Seyne-sur-Mer.  Today it is excavated and used by archaeologists.  (France 3)

Millimeter operation

It’s almost a rescue mission. Although the wreck has not been looted in 20 years, security is ensuring the site is preserved more than ever. Anyway, descending to such a depth with such heavy objects is not within everyone’s reach. To succeed in this mission, Lieutenant Vianney commands a dozen demining divers. The depth and gas mixture require them to have a total bottom dive time of 10 minutes, if we take 3 minutes to descend from the surface to a depth of 75 meters, they only have 7 minutes left to work, go to the vessel and implement the entire object lifting device.

In this ship specially designed for archaeological research and equipped with extraordinary stability, a room is reserved for their pilotage as close as possible to the divers. The operation is delicate and supported by robots. “First they give the divers directions to the places to work, then they bring a light because it is pitch black at the bottom. It also lets you know when they will hit the bottom and when they should return to the surface. This makes human dives safer.” explains Denis Dégez, archaeologist responsible for the robotics program.


A wreck is being excavated off the coast of Cap Sicié. There are amphorae from Biotus and ceramics from Vallauris. A particularly complex operation. – (France 3 PACA: E. Ambrosini, M. Julliand, E. Malet)

“Currently studying a traveling exhibition” the director of Drassm announces. It will allow us to showcase this exceptional local heritage.

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