Archaeologists surveying the world’s oldest submerged town have foundceramics dating back to the Final Neolithic. Their discovery suggeststhat Pavlopetri, off the southern Laconia coast of Greece, was occupiedsome 5,000 years ago – at least 1,200 years earlier than originallythought.
These remarkable findings have been made public by the Greekgovernment after the start of a five year collaborative projectinvolving the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities of the HellenicMinistry of Culture and The University of Nottingham.
As a Mycenaean town the site offers potential new insights into theworkings of Mycenaean society. Pavlopetri has added importance as itwas a maritime settlement from which the inhabitants coordinated localand long distance trade.
The underwater city was discovered in 1967 by Flemming, then at theNational Institute of Oceanography. He worked out that it was BronzeAge, about 2000 BC, and arranged the permit for a team from CambridgeUniversity to map it properly in 1968, which they did using justsnorkels and tape measures. The results were published by The BritishSchool at Athens in 1969, but no further work has been done over thelast 40 years. The site was so remote that its isolation protected itfrom human interference, while a submerged ridge of rock protected itfrom erosion.
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