22 Shipwrecks Found in Greek Expedition: Photos
The unprecedented discovery was concentrated in an area of just 17 square miles.
A joint Greek-American archaeological expedition has discovered 22 shipwrecks around the small Greek archipelago of Fourni, revealing what may be the ancient shipwreck capital of the world.
Hailed as one of the top archaeological finds of 2015, the discovery added 12 percent to the total of known ancient shipwrecks in Greek territorial waters in just 10 diving days.
Shipwrecks were found literally everywhere. 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).
The cargoes revealed long distance trades between the Black Sea, Aegean Sea, Cyprus, the Levant, and Egypt in all those periods. At least three ships carried amphoras, or jars, that have not been found previously on shipwrecks.
The archaeologists mapped each shipwreck using photogrammetry to create 3D site plans. Representative artifacts were raised from each wreck site for scientific analysis.
Amphoras may go on displays in museums once conservation work is over.
The archaeologists have only examined about 5 percent of the archipelago's coastline, and are confident that many more wrecks will be discovered as they return to the islands next year.