Archaeology: Greece, ancient wreckage found in Ionian Sea

On seabed where Poseidon gas pipeline is to be laid

31 May, 14:32

One of the amphoras found One of the amphoras found

(ANSAmed) - ATHENS, 31 MAY - The wreckage of three ancient vessels were detected in the deep waters of the Ionian Sea during an investigation carried out by the oceanographic vessel "Aigeo", in the framework of a collaboration between the Hellenic National Marine Research Centre and the Marine Ancient Heritage Superintendent's Office on the seabed where the "Poseidon" underwater gas pipeline (which will connect Italy and Greece) is to be laid. According to Greece's Culture and Tourism Ministry, the investigation was carried out recently -between May 11th and May 17th this year- on a surface of approximately 200 sq.km of the seabed, in the sea stretch between the island of Corfu and the Paxoi island. This is the first marine archaeology research in deep waters - maximum depth totalled 1,400 mt.- ever carried out in the Ionian Sea. Up to today, no ancient wreckage was found below a depth of 1,000 mt.

During the investigations, 12 "targets" were detected and controlled; three of them turned out to be the wreckage of three ancient vessels. The first one was named "Poseidon 1" and was found at a 1,180 mt. depth. According to a preliminary estimate, "Poseidon 1" is the wreckage of a Roman age ship dating back to the III century AD. Two different African amphora mouths were found and brought to surface, a marble vase whose height is 30 cm, while the video footage of the spot distinctly shows amphoras, kitchenware, two amphoras, part of the ballast and other pieces of the ship scattered on the seabed. The second wreckage, the "Poseidon 2" was detected a depth of 1,375 mt; it is probably a vessel dating back to the same age as Poseidon 1.

Due to the sludge sediments on that particular area of seabed, it was not possible to retrieve any find and take it back to the surface. Underwater footage, however, distinctly shows amphoras, earthenware pots, kitchenware and other metal objects.

The third wreckage, "Poseidon 3" was detected at a depth of 1,260 mt. It is probably a ship dating back to the 17th or 18th century; the ship's profile, its iron anchors and some other objects and pots scattered all around the vessel are visible.

(ANSAmed).

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