OLBIA, Sardinia (AP) _ The remains of 10 ships dating back to the twilight of the Roman Empire have been found off northeastern Sardinia near the port of Olbia.

Marine archaeologist Rubens D'Oriano said Friday that the ships were likely burned by the Vandals of northern Europe when they plundered Olbia in the 5th Century.

The discovery ``is particularly important because it gives us details on a specific historical event'' as well as ancient naval technology, he said.

D'Oriano said another five ships from the 13th century were found in the same area, D'Oriano said.

The wreckage was found during work on an underwater tunnel at the port of Olbia.

The Roman ships _ some up to 30 yards long _ are believed to be merchant vessels. The hulls show signs of fire.

So far, the wreckage has yielded human bones, oil lamps, coins, a statue of the Egyptian god Osiris, a sapphire, an amphora and fragments of a bronze statue.

D'Oriano said divers are still exploring the wreckage.