An ancient Greek city has been discovered at the bottom of the Aegean sea.
The settlement, discovered by divers in Kiladha Bay on the Peloponnese Peninsula south of Athens, dates back around 4,500 years (2,500 BC.). It was the size of around 10 football fields, covering an area of 12 acres.
Archaeologists from the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, University of Geneva and the Swiss School of Archaeology found the fortified Bronze Age settlement in Khilada Bay, in the Argolic Gulf. They found at least three huge horseshoe-shaped foundations attached to the wall line – which they say was possibly part of towers used to defend the settlement.
“The importance of our discovery is partly due to the large size,” said University of Geneva archaeologist Julien Beck. “There must have been a brick superstructure above a stone foundation. The chances of finding such walls under water are extremely low. The full size of the facility is not yet known. We do not know why it is surrounded by fortifications.”
The find was announced by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs. The team had been looking for traces of prehistoric human activity on the eastern side of the Argolic Gulf when they found the city submerged between one and three metres beneath the surface.
The city consisted of a multitude of stone buildings, as well as paved surfaces, which they believe to have been streets. Researchers also pulled up pottery, stone tools and blades from the site that was typical from the period of the third millennium BC.
The find adds to the network of Bronze Age coastal settlements in the Argolic Gulf from the period and researchers hope they will learn more about trade, shipping and day to day life of this ancient civilization.