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10 shipwrecks dating from 3000 BC to the World War II era found off the coast of Greece

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What technology could change the way we learn about shipwrecks


What technology could change the way we learn about shipwrecks

05:06

Researchers have discovered 10 shipwrecks, including one estimated to be more than 5,000 years old, off the coast of Greece, along with scattered ancient artifacts from around the globe.

Using Homer’s “Iliad” as a guide, an underwater archaeological team made the discoveries during a four-year survey off the coast of Kasos, a small island in the Aegean Sea, the Greek Ministry of Culture announced Wednesday.

During the underwater missions, teams found the remains of 10 doomed ships, spanning thousands of years of history —  with the oldest one dating back to 3000 BC.

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Researchers found 10 shipwrecks off the coast of Greece during a 4-year survey.

Greek Ministry of Culture


The ships sank during different eras, including the Classical period (460 BC), the Hellenistic period (100 BC to 100 AD), the Roman years (200 BC – 300 AD) and the Byzantine period (800 – 900 AD). The team also found the remains of a more recent vessel — a World War II-era ship made of wood that was almost 100 feet long.

Near the wrecks, the ministry said researchers also discovered a trove of “unique finds” originating from Spain, Italy, Africa and Asia Minor, including a Spanish amphora with a seal on its handle dating from between 150-170 AD.

Also discovered were drinking vessels, terra sigillata flasks from Africa and a stone anchor from the Archaic period, which lasted from the 8th century BC until the 5th century BC. A photo of the anchor was among six images from the survey released by the culture ministry.

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Researchers found 10 shipwrecks and a variety of artifacts off the coast of Greece, including a stone anchor from the Archaic period.

Greek Ministry of Culture


All the shipwrecks and sunken treasures were found at depths of between 65 and 155 feet. From 2019 to 2023, researchers took more than 20,000 underwater photos and employed a side-scanning sonar to map the Kasos-Karpathos reef for the first time.

Centuries ago, Kasos served as a major trade hub east of Crete and, according to Homer’s “Iliad,” played a role in the Trojan War. Officials said researchers who surveyed the waters off the island actually used the Iliad and other historical sources to study the area.

“It is the first systematic research on the seabed of Kasos with the main objective of locating, recording and studying the antiquities of an area at the crossroads of cultures and once a center of navigation,” according to the survey’s website, which includes a 12-minute video chronicling the underwater missions.

The team of international researchers includes diving archaeologists, historians, architects, geologists, postgraduate students and other specialists.

The announcement of the shipwrecks came just a few months after scientists found a partially submerged building, as well as a variety of ancient marble treasures, while exploring Salamis, a small island off the coast of Greece where a now-sunken city once stood.

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