22 shipwrecks found off the coast of Greece
October 31, 2015 | 5 comments
The Mediterranean is rich with ancient shipwrecks. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 ipswichtours
A small Greek archipelago has come to be regarded as the ancient shipwreck capital of the world.
Under normal circumstances finding even one shipwreck of archaeological significance is deemed to be an important discovery, but now divers exploring the Fourni archipelago off the coast off Greece have revealed the finding of at least 22 such wrecks within a very small space of time.
Regarded as one of the most important archaeological discoveries of 2015, the wrecks are located within an area of only 17 square miles between the eastern Aegean islands of Samos and Icaria.
Most of the shipwrecks are believed to date back to between 300 and 600AD however there are also wrecks much older than this - some even dating back as far as 700 BC.
"In a typical survey we locate four or five shipwrecks per season in the best cases," said Greek archaeological director George Koutsouflakis. "We expected a successful season, but no one was prepared for this. Shipwrecks were found literally everywhere."
The ships were likely to have been sailing on trading routes between Egypt, Cyprus, the Levant, the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea while carrying cargo that included jars of precious commodities.
It is thought that the ships were likely to have sunk due to storms or equipment failure.
"Surpassing all expectations, over only 13 days we added 12 percent to the total of known ancient shipwrecks in Greek territorial waters," said Peter Campbell of the University of Southampton.
Source: Discovery News
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