[dropcap]A[/dropcap] Greek-American archaeological expedition just discovered a city of shipwrecks under the Aegean Sea.
The archaeologists are calling the site, located beneath the Fourni archipelago, a collection of 13 islands and islets in the Aegean Sea “among the top archaeological finds of 2015.”
The scientists, from the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, RPM Nautical Foundation and the University of South hampton, discovered 22 shipwrecks during a period of almost two weeks.
The discovery “brings to light ancient trade networks that once connected the entire Mediterranean,” possibly dating back to 700 B.C., said Greek director George Koutsouflakis in a statement. The trade networks are thought to have connected portions of the Black Sea, Aegean Sea, Cyprus, the Levant and Egypt.
“What is astonishing is not only the number of the shipwrecks but also the diversity of the cargoes, some of which have been found for first time,” he said.
At least three of the shipwreck sites had cargo that have not been found previously on shipwrecks, Koutsouflakis said.
The shipwrecks date back to the time span from the Archaic Period (700-480 BC) though the Late Medieval Period (16th century).
Several wrecks date to the Classical (480-323 BC) and Hellenistic (323-31 BC) periods, but over half of the wrecks date to the Late Roman Period (circa 300-600 AD), the press release said.