|27 September 2015
Bronze Age Greek city found underwater
A team of Greek and Swiss archaeologists have discovered what appears to be a significant coastal settlement now covered by the Mediterranean Sea and within sight of the nearby Lambayanna beach, in Kiladha Bay, on the Peloponnese Peninsula south of Athens. The remnants of an ancient Greek village of the 3rd millennium BCE were found by divers just under the surface of the bay that forms part of the Argolic Gulf of southern Greece.
Professor Julien Beck of the University of Geneva says, "The importance of our discovery is partly due to the large size of the establishment: at least 1.2 hectares were preserved," adding that the discovery is important also because of the quantity and quality of the artefacts.
The team of underwater archaeologists discovered stone defensive structures that are of a "massive nature, unknown in Greece until now," says Beck. The walls precede by one thousand years the first great Greek civilisation, the Mycenaean (1650-1100 BCE).
The buildings are characteristic of the Greek Bronze Age, which tend to be built on a rectilinear plan and circular or elliptical in shape. Paved surfaces, which could be streets or the remains of structures, were also found. Connected to the exterior fortifications were three significant stone structures - probably towers. Structures of this sort are unknown elsewhere in Greece. The team also found tools, including obsidian blades dating to the Helladic period (3200 to 2050 BCE).
A map and drawings of the newly discovered village have yet to be drafted because of the sheer size of the find.
Along the shore near the site, archaeologists have found more than 6,000 objects, including fragments of the red ceramics that are characteristic of the area. Based on the style of the pottery, researchers believe that the site dates to the Early Helladic II phase, contemporaneous with the building of the famous Egyptian pyramids. Beck called the area an "archaeologist's paradise."
The researchers expect that future research at Lambayanna will shed new light on a dense network of coastal settlements throughout the Aegean Sea.
Edited from Spero News (27 August 2015)
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