FOUND: 22 Ancient Shipwrecks in One Archipelago - Atlas Obscura
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FOUND: 22 Ancient Shipwrecks in One Archipelago

Amphorae (Photo: Fourni Underwater Survey/V Mentogiani)

There’s a Greek archipelago called Fourni that for centuries was tempting to sailors. Many ships traveled through the area and visited its mostly undeveloped bays—but not all made it. 

For years, local fisherman and sponge divers noticed piles of ceramic pots on the floor of the ocean. But it wasn’t until last month that a scientific expedition investigated them. What they found was evidence of 22 separate shipwrecks.  

Amphorae in nets (Photo: Fourni Underwater Survey/V Mentogiani)

Most of the wrecks happened sometime between 300 and 600 AD, though there were examples that were closer to 2,500 years old and some remains of crashes from as recently as the 16th century. The wood of these ships is long gone: “the big messy piles of ceramic vessels,” LiveScience writes, are all that’s left.

The expedition surveyed 17 square miles over just 13 days. They mapped the sites with 3D scanners and pulled only a few artifacts from each site. With this much shipwreck to comb over, it was impossible to study each one in as much detail as one would like. The team says they’ll be back.

More amphorae (Photo: Fourni Underwater Survey/V Mentogiani)

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Every day, we highlight one newly lost or found object, curiosity or wonder. Discover something unusual or amazing? Tell us about it! Send your finds to sarah.laskow@atlasobscura.com.