8 more shipwrecks discovered in Fourni
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8 more shipwrecks discovered in Fourni

Traces of a total of eight shipwrecks, dating back to the classical period up to the first half of the 20th century, were identified during the underwater exploration of the Fourni archipelago from 9 to 29 June 2017.

The research of the Ephorate of Antiquities, with the support of the RPM Nautical Foundation, aims at identifying, recording, documenting and studying ancient, medieval and modern wrecks in the island complex of Fourni.

The findings of the 2017 survey include a shipwreck with a cargo of amphorae, dated back to the 4th century BC, a shipwreck of Roman times with a load of Dressel 38 amphorae, coming from laboratory facilities in Spain and destined for the transport of paste fish, two Shipwrecks of late Roman times with amphora cargoes of the 6th and 7th centuries AD, but also a wooden sketch of the interwar period, which sank shortly after 1929, according to the the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

Samples were taken from these shipwrecks including amphorae, table pottery and lamps. The extensive diversity of cargoes and the finding of many shipwrecks with non-Aegean shipwrecks seems to confirm the findings of the 2015 and 2016 surveys that Fourni were, due to their geographical location and the diversity of the horizontal and vertical division of their coasts, a key maritime hub linked to a wider network of sea routes in ancient times.

The total number of localized and documented wrecks together with the already investigated shipwrecks recorded in 2015 and 2016 are 53. Apart from the wreckage, individual findings, mainly ceramic discharges and anchors, were indiscriminate witnesses to the tension And the extent of shipping and freight traffic at this crucial naval crossroads of the Eastern Aegean. “

The research was conducted by the research vessel RPM Nautical Foundation “R / V Hercules”, which was used for the archaeological mapping of the marine area between the eastern coasts of Fourni and St. Minas in depth zones not accessible by conventional means of diving , From 60 to 120 meters deep.

“Multibeam Echo Sounder has been used to identify candidate targets and for the visual confirmation and identification of the targets a submarine unmanned vehicle,” the HPSO informs. “As in previous years, it was crucial for the successful outcome of the survey to be the sensitization of the local population and the extensive collection of information from the fishermen’s community, which gave farewell information on the existence of antiquities at the bottom and led to their rapid identification .

The Directorate-General for Research was the archaeologist of the Ephorate of Antiquities Dr. George Koutsouflakis, and the head of the RPM Nautical Foundation was archaeologist Dr Peter Campbell.