Largest find of shipwrecks in the Mediterranean intensifies
Marine archaeologists have uncovered an unprecedented find of 58 shipwrecks in just one area in Greece. It is the largest such find in the history of the Mediterranean and is expected to become one of the most important marine archaeological finds of the twentieth century.
The wrecks lie off a small archipelago of Fournoi in the Aegean Sea and date from Ancient Greece to modern times. This is now a remote group of islands, but in the past they were located on major trade routes and were a haven for ships on long journeys. Fournoi is made up of 20 islets and reefs near the betterknown tourist island of Samos. Some 1,500 people live on the main island and they are mainly fishermen.
Experts believe that the waters in the area are very susceptible to sudden wind storms, which make them particularly treacherous, hence the reason for so many wrecks in this area. Alternatively, they could have fallen prone to pirates who are known to have operated in the area.
The treasure trove of vessels was found by a group of international marine archaeologists who are part of the Fournoi Survey Project, which is working with the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities.
The team was able to make so many discoveries because of information from sponge fishermen who are very familiar with the local water.
Amphorae spill out on to the seabed from one of the shipwrecks