Back in May we first were deluged with news coverage about plans to poke around the submerged Mycenean remains of Pavlopetri. Now we’re getting coverage of what they actually found this past summer … an excerpt from the Science Daily coverage:
This summer the team carried out a detailed digital underwater survey and study of the structural remains, which until this year were thought to belong to the Mycenaean period — around 1600 to 1000 BC. The survey surpassed all their expectations. Their investigations revealed another 150 square metres of new buildings as well as ceramics that suggest the site was occupied throughout the Bronze Age — from at least 2800 BC to 1100 BC.
The work is being carried out by a multidisciplinary team led by Mr Elias Spondylis, Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture in Greece and Dr Jon Henderson, an underwater archaeologist from the Department of Archaeology at The University of Nottingham.
Dr Jon Henderson said: “This site is unique in that we have almost the complete town plan, the main streets and domestic buildings, courtyards, rock-cut tombs and what appear to be religious buildings, clearly visible on the seabed. Equally as a harbour settlement, the study of the archaeological material we have recovered will be extremely important in terms of revealing how maritime trade was conducted and managed in the Bronze Age.”
Possibly one of the most important discoveries has been the identification of what could be a megaron — a large rectangular great hall — from the Early Bronze Age period. They have also found over 150 metres of new buildings including what could be the first example of a pillar crypt ever discovered on the Greek mainland. Two new stone built cist graves were also discovered alongside what appears to be a Middle Bronze Age pithos burial.
Apart from the inevitable links to theories about Atlantis which some of the press seems to be fond of, the coverage is rather good. Noteworthy are a couple of YouTube videos put out by the University of Nottingham (the second one is better for our purposes):
- World’s Oldest Submerged Town Dates Back 5,000 Years (Science Daily)
- 5,000 Years Makes Pavlopetri Oldest Underwater Town (Heritage Key)
- Sea gives up secrets to experts (BBC)
- World’s oldest submerged town dates back 5,000 years (PhysOrg)