Archaeologists have just made an amazing discovery. The team which is part of a joint US-Greek expedition to uncover archaeological sites around the Greek archipelago, the Fourni Underwater Survey, has succeeded beyond all hopes. Thus far the group has uncovered a total of 53 shipwrecks and countless invaluable artifacts over the last three diving seasons.
Now the group may have found the biggest treasure yet. The underwater archaeologists have discovered eight shipwrecks dating back thousands of years while exploring waters around the Greek islands of Fourni. Peter Campbell, one of the leaders of the project, believes the area was a popular among ancient boatmen during bad storms, as it provided good anchorage points for vessels crossing the Aegean sea. There they were protected from the hazardous northwest winds, but occasional southern storms sometimes caught them unawares.
“The ships would just plow into the cliffs and then scatter down” Campbell told Live Science. “We find piles of amphorae [ancient Greek vases]. It looks like the scene of a giant car crash, with these ceramics cascading down.”
So far, the group has identified at least eight separate ship wrecks dating from between the late Greek Archaic period (525-480 BC) to the Early Modern period (1750-1850 AD). A spokesperson for the group said the ships remains contain ancient treasures such as lamps, cooking pots and anchors. What is even more remarkable is that in some cases, a ship’s cargo could be traced back to its origin, such as Hellenistic-era amphorae (331-323 BC) from the Greek island of Kos. In other cases, amphorae have been identified from Italy, North Africa, Cyprus, Egypt, Spain and elsewhere. The diversity of the cargo proves once again just how good the Greek sailors of the period were at trading in new markets around the known world.
This expedition is the third since the summer of 2015 when maritime archaeologist and co-director George Koutsouflakis received a call from Manos Mitikas, a local fisherman who had spent years working in the waters around Fourni. Mitikas said he had grown up seeing pottery on the seafloor and had a hand-drawn map of about 40 sites of shipwrecks that he wanted to share. “I thought the sea was just like that,” Mitikas told National Geographic last year.
The third part of the project took place over three weeks in June aboard the research vessel Hercules. A fourth is already planned for 2018 with project leaders hoping to delve into deeper waters with the help of underwater vehicles.
— RT (@RT_com) March 4, 2017