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Shipwrecked at the Fourni Archipelago

Ancient Greek

Shipwrecked at the Fourni Archipelago

Underwater Archeology


By Edward Townes, M.Sc.

Located in the Aegean Sea, closer to Anatolia than the Greek mainland, the Fourni Archipelago must have been a high traffic-shipping lane for the ancient world. This year underwater archeologists have added 12% to the number of known shipwrecks in Greek territorial waters by discovering a staggering 22 shipwrecks on just one excursion to the archipelago!

Since there are no significant ports nearby, the theory is that the archipelago must have been along a major trade route, and used, clearly sometimes ineffectively, as a shelter from storms. Most of the ships are from the classical period, some even as far back as the Archaic Period (700-480BC), with a whole range of civilizations and cargoes. Little remains of the ships themselves, but numerous amphorae and other assorted pottery from their cargoes are strewn across the sea floor, including some that had never before been found in shipwrecks.

Finds like this serve as a reminder of how much more there is for archeologists to discover about our ancient past. It is widely assumed that we’ve uncovered only a very small fraction of what lies underneath the waves and soil, waiting to add to our understanding and knowledge of humanity. Even here in the Fourni Archipelago, just 5% of the seabed has been explored.


Edward Townes
Professor Edward Townes was born and raised in England and holds a Master of Science in Theoretical Physics from Imperial College, London. He is also planning to very soon pursue a Ph.D. in Physics. Prof. Townes tutors math, science (biology, chemistry, and physics), and SAT Prep for Carmenta Online PhD Tutors.

Click here to see Prof. Townes full profile on the Carmenta Faculty Page.



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