Egyptian officials revealed last week that archaeologists located three sunken ships off the country’s northern coast in Alexandria, Egypt’s Abu Qir Bay. The wrecks, determined to be of Roman origin, were discovered filled with ancient artifacts dating back to up to 2,000 years. Included in the excavated bounty were gold coins issued during the reign of Rome’s first emperor, Augustus Caesar Octavian (Julius Caesar was his great-uncle), as well as pottery, and a “royal head of crystal.”

Abu Qir Bay, Augustus Caesar Octavian, Ministry of Antiquities Underwater Archaeology Department, European Institute of Underwater Archaeology, royal head of crystal

As MSN writes, the Ministry of Antiquities’ Underwater Archaeology Department and the European Institute of Underwater Archaeology have been working since September to locate and disentomb the ship’s contents from the sunken city of Heraclion. Heraclion sits beneath the bay and is believed to be one of the world’s most archaeologically rich sites. In fact, the team of archaeologists is in the process of locating a fourth sunken ship in the bay.

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Abu Qir Bay, Augustus Caesar Octavian, Ministry of Antiquities Underwater Archaeology Department, European Institute of Underwater Archaeology, royal head of crystal

The finds are a boon for Egypt, which has been in a state of political unrest since the uprisings of 2011. Looters have used mass protests as a cover to both steal and defile artifacts, including those housed in the Egyptian Museum near Tahrir Square. As such, Egypt’s antiquity authorities are sharing their new finds with gusto across global channels, including Facebook.

Via MSN

Images via the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities Facebook page