Scuba divers have found what is believed to be an ancient bronze sculpture of a lion's head along with a complete suit of armor off the coast of Italy near Calabria last week.
"When I went into the water, I saw a statue that was stuck between the rocks and a piece of the ship," Bruno Bruzzaniti, one of the divers, told ANSA.
"We think these are objects of value. The important thing is that they are looked after," he added.
According to AFP, the hulking head is said to weigh 33 pounds and it would reach a little over a foot-and-a-half in height. The remains of vases and other statues, along with armor in bronze and copper, were found near the lion, ANSA details.
An expert reportedly told the daily newspaper Il Quotidiano di Calabria that the artifacts were possibly from a Greek or Phoenician ship that sank nearby.
According to ANSA, explorers who discover historic items in the region must report them to authorities within 24 hours. However, authorities weren't informed until today of the find that occurred last week.
Local police are investigating how the discovery occurred and the local coast guard has reportedly banned any activity from the area until the search is complete.
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more