Roman Anchor Stock

On his 2010 visit to Malta, the Pope views a Roman Anchor stock which was discovered and raised by Maltese diver Mark Gatt (Orange uniform). This anchor was discovered in April 2005.

  1. Rebecca
    October 22, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    There are several things I love about this picture. First, I love that you can literally feel the enthusiasm that Mark exudes through his posture, hand gestures, and overall demeanor in this photograph. The way he is leaning in to the conversation, the width of his hands obviously describing something – I just can’t imagine what an exciting moment this was for this man. Second, it could not be more fitting that the two men engrossed in this conversation are dressed in a bright color that automatically distinguishes them from the sea of black in which they stand. When I look at this picture I imagine these two men so involved in their conversation that they do not even remotely noticing anyone else around them. I think their clothes in this picture really illustrate that.

    • October 25, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      Those are some very good observations. I guess all I focused on was the anchor itself. But, after reading your comments I was able to look at the photo with new eyes and you are right. The things you mentioned just jump out at me now. It is striking how easy I missed all deeper meaning. I never really looked at the colors, both bright and drab and the the contrast. The expressions of both men show their excitement. They are in a world by themselves. I wish I could have published all the emails between Mark, Gordon and myself before the Pope’s visit. Mark was beyond excited as you might expect. But, the Pope seemed just as excited to meet Mark and see and feel this anchor. It was his team that requested this meeting with Mark and the anchor before they arrived in Malta. The anchor was actually moved from it’s home in the museum to a location that could handle the crowd and security. One interesting connection was the fact that the anchor was raised by Mark and his divers on the same day this Pope presided over his first Mass, so the Pope felt a kinship to the anchor and really wanted to see it.

  2. April 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    How true your observations of the most memorable evening of my life are. I still get goose pimples remembering my conversation with HHBXVI. Mainly when he asked me if the anchor was from an Egyptian grain ship. You see, he could not ask me if it was coming from St Paul’s ship as this is impossible to prove. HHBXVI is a wise man and an archaeologist too. I remember answering, ‘I don’t know Your Holiness, but the inscriptions on the anchor indicate so,’ and I was moving towards the anchor to point out the inscriptions which he could not see from the position he was in. He grabbed my arm and softly said, ‘I know, Isis.’
    Right up till that moment I was not sure on how true it was that the request for HHBXVI to inspect the anchor came from the Vatican. His answer proves that he had actually read the reports Michael Hesemann and I had sent him and that he had actually asked to see the anchor.
    Thank you for your artistic explanation of the picture and thank you John for the explanation.

  3. April 16, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    You are more than welcome my friend. Your discovery and recovery of this anchor stock is a great story, but this meeting between two “friends” with a common interest is even better. I am glad it took place. I think Rebecca hit it right on the head with her observation about the two of you in a world of your own. Everyone else in the photo was busy with other things, but you two knew the significance of that anchor and the story of the shipwreck. Now we just need to find the rest of the ship!

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