Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Submerged Greek City from 2800 BC to be Excavated

Not sure if excavated is the correct word, since the site--a town named Pavlopetri--lies under 3 or 4 meters of water. Explored, maybe?

According to Science Daily, a team will soon be diving into and paddling around the sea off Laconia, Greece. There, the ancient town of Pavlopetri, dating at least from the Mycenaean Age, will be studied. Using equipment developed for the military (for what purpose, I wonder?), archaeologists hope to splash through ancient courtyards, tombs, and cist graves. Wow. All those things are still there, underwater, after 4800 years? Excuse me while I push my jaw back into position and wipe up the drool from the keyboard.

This lovely photo is from, and shows some of the harsh conditions and primitive accommodations that the archaeologists must accept during their grueling fieldwork, which will take place over three years.

Pavlopetri was probably once a port and trading town, so there should be much to discover. The archaeologist who discovered the site in 1967 is also participating! Among the things they hope to learn is--just how far back does Pavlopetri date, and why did it slip into the sea?

The Science Daily article hints that a bit more funding is needed--so far the University of Nottingham (here's their page on the site, and the first picture came from there), the Institute of Aegean Prehistory, and the British School of Archaeology at Athens have contributed financially. May I suggest someone get National Geographic or the Discovery Channel on board?

Because if I can't be on that beach--and I can't, 'cause I don't have a PhD in Archaeology--I would love to see this on my TV, sitting on a cushy sofa and eating Doritos.

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