Expectations have been far surpassed when divers found a number of 22 shipwrecks laid hidden in Greek waters for thousands of years.
- Divers found the 22 shipwrecks by the 13th day of underwater excursions
- Their number accounts for 12% of the already discovered 180 shipwrecks in Greek waters
- They dove down at depths of 180 feet, exploring 17 square miles of the archipelago
- They found artifacts that were around 2,500 years old
The team of divers went down through the waters near the coasts of Fourni, in Greece, with the thought in mind that they would find between three to four sunken ships. They investigated the waters, and instead found an expected number surprisingly fast. Their first diving expedition led to the discovery of remains of just one wreck from the late Roman period.
However, by the fifth day, within the deep waters and covered with sand and sea algae, the divers discovered nine more shipwrecked. The day after, they found six more. The number was already high, but they extended their underwater explorations to thirteenth day, when they unveiled a number of twenty-two shipwrecks in total.
According to co-director of the project, Peter Campbell, they would’ve been happy with three or four. However, their extensive dives at depths of 180 feet resulted in exceptional finds. Even more, some of the wrecks were dated as far back as 2,500 years ago. It seems that true pieces of distant history were laying on the bottom of the Aegean sea. They were in large number and a relatively constrained area.
The marine archaeologists found the shipwrecks after investigating only 17 square miles of the archipelago. That amounts to a mere 5% of the region that will likely be subjected to future research.
Some of the expeditions unearthed old vessels from the Archaic period, which was between 700 to 489 B.C., while others were as recent as the late medieval period, around the 16th century. As stated by George Koutsouflakis, form the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, there’s always a surprise of what you’re going to find while diving. It could be anything.
The team knew that Fourni was a commonly travelled hub across the Aegean. It was an ancient location that reportedly prospered according to early Roman texts. However, later on, it’s hardly mentioned, so it had come as a surprise to find artifacts from that time period. Their findings mostly implied amphoras and varied cargos that never reached their destination.
The wood was unlikely to survive centuries in the waters unless they were deprived of oxygen. And while they did not find any components of the vessels, it has been suggested that further excavation would likely lead to their discovery.
Image source: en.protothema.gr