WHY DID THEY SINK?
The Ancient Harbour
A study of the area has allowed archaeologists to reconstruct the ancient port of Olbia. It ran parallel to the east side of the boundary wall of the ancient city, at a distance of about 90 m, and part of it was opposite present-day Corso Umberto, which should coincide with the decumanus maximus of Roman Olbia.
The ancient harbour was protected by a long wharf connecting the shore with Peddona Island.
Their orderly, parallel position (perpendicular to the coast and the boundary wall of the ancient city) leads us to hypothesize that the ships all sank at the same time, when they were anchored in port, and that afterwards no one bothered to free that stretch of water from the wrecks, making it non-navigable.
However, it is practically inconceivable that the weather and sea conditions required to cause a disaster of that magnitude could have occurred in such a sheltered port: traces of burns on the wood make one think of human intervention.