‘Underwater archaeologists have discovered 22 shipwrecks around a small Greek archipelago, revealing what may be the ancient shipwreck capital of the world.
Hailed as one of the top archaeological finds of 2015, the discovery was made by a joint Greek-American archaeological expedition in the small Fourni archipelago with an area of just 17 square miles. This is a collection of 13 islands and islets located between the eastern Aegean islands of Samos and Icaria.‘
‘Over half of the wrecks date to the Late Roman Period (circa 300-600 A.D.). Overall, the shipwrecks span from the Archaic Period (700-480 B.C.) to the Classical (480-323 B.C.) and Hellenistic (323-31 B.C.) through the Late Medieval Period (16th century).
“What is astonishing is not only the number of the shipwrecks but also the diversity of the cargoes, some of which have been found for first time,” Koutsouflakis said,
The cargoes reveal long distance trades between the Black Sea, Aegean Sea, Cyprus, the Levant, and Egypt in all those periods. At least three ships carried a cargo of amphoras, or jars, that have not been found previously on shipwrecks.
These are Archaic period (700-480 B.C.) Samian amphoras, Late Roman (3rd-7th centuries A.D.) Sinopean (carrot-shaped) amphoras, and large 2nd century A.D. Black Sea amphoras that carried fish sauce.
The archaeologists mapped each shipwreck using photogrammetry to create 3D site plans. Representative artifacts were raised from each wreck site for scientific analysis and may go on displays in museums once conservation work is over.‘