Ancient Fourni archipelago ship graveyard reveals 45 wrecks spanning thousands of years

by Amish Shah

Ancient Fourni archipelago ship graveyard reveals 45 wrecks spanning thousands of years

Ulysses and the Sirens, 1909 by Draper, Herbert James (1864-1920). Ancient mythology had many supernatural explanations for dangerous waterways.

FRESH surveys of ancient Greece’s ‘Bermuda Triangle’ have revealed 45 wrecks strewn among a remote outcrop of rocky islands. And many more may yet be found.

“These 45 shipwrecks demonstrate the truly exceptional significance of the archipelago and establishes the project as one of the most exciting currently in archeology,” says expedition leader Peter Campbell of the University of Southampton.

The keel and ballast stones belonging to one of 23 new wrecks found in the Aegean’s ‘ship graveyard’.  Picture: Vasilis Mentogianis.

The cluster of 13 islands in the eastern Aegean, known as the Fourni archipelago, surged to prominence in the archaeological world last year when 22 wrecks were found in a space of just 44 square kilometres within two weeks.

Some have been tentatively dated as being as old as 2500 years.

A second expedition in June has added a further 23 wrecks to the tally after divers scoured waters up to 65 meters deep.

A diver measures Archaic Period amphoras.  Picture: Vasilis Mentogianis.

There still much more to explore, researchers say.

“The concentration of the shipwrecks and the large area remaining to be explored leaves every indication that there are many more sites to discover,” Mr Campbell says.

The archipelago offered both a navigational reference and hoped-for safe-haven as it represented a trading crossroads in the ancient world.

Among the new wrecks are vessels from the Archaic period (700-480 BC) all the way through to the Early Modern Period (1750-1850 AD).

“Overall, Late Roman vessels are still the predominant type, but we see that ships were travelling past Fourni in every time period,” Mr Campbell says.

Some shipwrecks carried goods from as far as North Africa, Spain, and Italy.

The joint Greek-American expedition, the Fourni Underwater Survye, is expected to continue into 2018.*

Article Source Credit: Reported by www.News.Com.Au  (07-2016)

Amish Shah



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