Archaeologist Teams Discover 45 Shipwrecks Off Greek Islands

Archeologist Teams Discover 45 Shipwrecks Off Greek Islands (Photo Credit: Hellenic Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities)
Archeologist Teams Discover 45 Shipwrecks Off Greek Islands (Photo Credit: Hellenic Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities)

The eastern Aegean Sea is one heck of a treasure trove when it comes to shipwrecks.

A dive team found a total of 45 shipwrecks between the Greek islands of Samos and Ikaria in a pair of recent expeditions — 22 last autumn and another 23 from this past June 8 to July 2.

The most recent finds came from the 2016 Fuorni Underwater Survey, in which dive teams from the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and the U.S. nonprofit RPM Nautical Foundation took part.

The 23 most recently found shipwrecks were discovered by divers in waters as deep as 65 meters/213 feet, ranging in ages from the Greek golden age all the way to early in the 19th century. Many of the wrecks found sank between 200 and 600 AD.

A lot of the wrecks still had anchors, pottery and amphorae near them.

As the Greek Ephorate told DiverNet:

“Crucial to the success of the investigation has been the awareness of the local population and the extensive information about the existence of antiquities on the seabed provided by the fishing community and the divers of Fourni and the sponge-divers from Kalymnos, which enabled a fast-track approach.”

The RPM Nautical Foundation said on its website:

“The Survey plans to fully catalog and document the underwater cultural heritage of the archipelago and learn more about ancient trade and navigation in the Aegean Sea.”

For more information about this shipwreck search, check out the websites of the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities as well as the RPM Nautical Foundation.

RPM Nautical Foundation's current projects list. (Photo credit: RPM Nautical Foundation)
RPM Nautical Foundation’s current projects list. (Photo credit: RPM Nautical Foundation)