Significant finds from underwater excavation on Delos island in Greece

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Significant finds from underwater excavation on Delos island in GreeceThe findings in underwater archaeological excavations at Delos, Greece. Photo: Ministry of Culture and Sports

The remains of ancient coastal structures and a port, a large number of shipwrecks dating back to various eras and significant smaller finds were found in underwater archaeological excavations conducted by the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities at the island of Delos from May 2 until May 20, the culture and sports ministry announced on Monday.

"The finds confirm that Delos was an important trading base and an important maritime trade route through the ages, linking the east and west Mediterranean," a ministry announcement said.

Archaeologists carried out an in-depth investigation of the ancient breakwater that protected the island's central port in antiquity from the strong northwestern winds, which is now underwater because the sea level has risen by two metres since that time. 

According to the ministry, the breakwater was an "impressively strong structure, roughly 160 metres long and at least 40 metres wide, built on a pile of unshaped rocks, while its upper structure was for the great part constructed of granite blocks of impressive size." The date of its construction remains unknown and further archaeological and geological research will be needed to discover this, it added.

Other finds included the remains of walls and a fallen colonnade, the remains of a later Hellenistic era shipwreck carrying amphorae of oil and wine from Italy and the western Mediterranean, as well as another two shipwrecks from the same era off the southern tip of Delos and at Rineia, in Fylladi Bay.

The findings in underwater archaeological excavations at Delos, Greece. Photo: Ministry of Culture and Sports

The mission also had the opportunity to photograph and map two more shipwrecks found in previous underwater explorations, at Kato Kerenale and near Fournoi.

All the shipwrecks found date to the period between the end of the 2nd century and the 1st century B.E.C. when the island was at the height of its prosperity, before it was sacked by Mithridates and the pirates of Cilicia.

Archaeologists also stressed the discovery of amphorae dating to various periods and geographical regions, noting that these helped in the reconstruction of Delos' history through the ages. Finds from regions outside the Aegean - such as Italy, Spain and North Africa - demonstrated that the island had trade transactions throughout the Mediterranean during the Hellenistic period, while there were also earlier finds dating to the 5th century B.C. when little is known about the island's trade and transactions. Finds that antedate the sacking of the island, meanwhile, show that it continued to be inhabited and still played an important role in trade and navigation.

The exploration was carried out in collaboration with the French Archaeological School and the head of the Delos excavations Dr. Jean Charles Moretti, as well as Dr. Mantha Zarmakoupi of the National Hellenic Research Foundation, with assistance from underwater topographer Lionel Fantin of the French School and Spyridon Moureas providing technical support. The cost of the excavation was covered by the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, the French Archaeological School and the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies.

The findings in underwater archaeological excavations at Delos, Greece. Photo: Ministry of Culture and Sports

The island of Delos (/ˈdiːlɒs/; Greek: Δήλος [ˈðilos]; Attic: Δῆλος, Doric: Δᾶλος), near Mykonos, near the centre of the Cyclades archipelago, is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece. The excavations in the island are among the most extensive in the Mediterranean; ongoing work takes place under the direction of the French School at Athens and many of the artifacts found are on display at the Archaeological Museum of Delos and the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.

Delos had a position as a holy sanctuary for a millennium before Olympian Greek mythology made it the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. From its Sacred Harbour, the horizon shows the three conical mounds (image below) that have identified landscapes sacred to a goddess in other sites: one, retaining its Pre-Greek name Mount Kynthos,[1] is crowned with a sanctuary of Zeus.

Established as a culture center, Delos had an importance that its natural resources could never have offered. In this vein Leto, searching for a birthing-place for Artemis and Apollo, addressed the island:

Delos, if you would be willing to be the abode of my son Phoebus Apollo and make him a rich temple –; for no other will touch you, as you will find: and I think you will never be rich in oxen and sheep, nor bear vintage nor yet produce plants abundantly. But if you have the temple of far-shooting Apollo, all men will bring you hecatombs and gather here, and incessant savour of rich sacrifice will always arise, and you will feed those who dwell in you from the hand of strangers; for truly your own soil is not rich.

 

— Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo 51–60

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

 

Tornos
  1. 24/11 21:49

    Residence tax: Hoteliers predict €200 million while the government says only €74 million

  2. 24/11 21:41

    Imprisoned Greek model in Hong Kong drug case pleads to speak with her parents

  3. 24/11 21:35

    Greek tax bureau targets 'Airbnb' rentals with obligations list for potential leasers

  4. 24/11 21:31

    Cyprus expels Israelis for trying to enter occupied north side by Turkey

  5. 24/11 21:23

    Greek Transport Minister visits DC and Greek-American members of Congress

  6. 24/11 21:18

    Emirates Airlines offers Newark to Athens flight from $399 roundtrip

  7. 24/11 21:12

    Lamda Development: Political will required for Hellinikon investment in Greece

  8. 24/11 20:11

    TRAINOSE to issue e-tickets and e-cards in Greece from November 27

  9. 24/11 20:01

    Greek port of Patra named ‘European Destination of Excellence

  10. 24/11 19:52

    Deadly blast strikes mosque in Egypt’s Sinai reportedly killing 235 (video)

  11. 24/11 19:48

    Minister: French tourists visiting Greece up more than 10%

  12. 24/11 19:43

    Greece’s balance of travel services recorded a surplus in September

  13. 24/11 19:39

    Greece's Athens and Thessaloniki in top 100 best food cities in the world

  14. 24/11 19:09

    OECD data: Greece had the highest rate of tax increases for 2016

  15. 24/11 18:59

    The world map of prostitution and sex tourism

  16. 24/11 18:49

    EU welcomes German explanations on controls for Greek flights

  17. 24/11 18:41

    Eurostat: Greek macroeconomic indices record a return to normalcy

  18. 24/11 18:28

    LGBTQ+ community releases its "full list of genders"

  19. 24/11 18:21

    Amendment to place civil servants in privatized Piraeus Port Authority OLP

  20. 24/11 18:14

    EU Commissioner pleased with Greek efforts to close “digital gap” in rural areas

  21. 24/11 18:08

    Cyprus report: Varosha tourist district to reopen by end of 2018

  22. 24/11 18:05

    Survey: More Greek retailers to join in 'Black Friday' sales this year

  23. 24/11 17:50

    Greek Fin Min releases blatant tax evasion and smuggling cases list

  24. 24/11 17:42

    TAP construction advances with over 340 km of pipes laid already

  25. 24/11 17:20

    Bodies found on Lesvos island belonged to Turkish family escaping Erdogan regime

  26. 24/11 14:36

    Bank of England: Wages rise and migration drops after Brexit vote

  27. 24/11 12:27

    Greek Minister meets with Russian ambassador Maslov

  28. 23/11 20:32

    EU to include Turkey on blacklist of tax havens as early as next month

  29. 23/11 20:28

    Greece and Albania launch joint action to deal with drugs and cross-border crime

  30. 23/11 20:23

    Erdogan’s upcoming visit to Greece first by Turkish president in 65 years

  31. 23/11 20:20

    EU Commissioner Avramopoulos: Schengen’s integrity is crucial

  32. 23/11 19:11

    Report: Immigrants harass Greek woman and beat her brothers in Argos city

  33. 23/11 19:02

    Travel report on the lakes, ski resorts and bears of Metsovo in Epirus, Greece

  34. 23/11 18:51

    19th Annual Capital Link Invest in Greece Forum on December 11 in New York

  35. 23/11 18:32

    Annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China on November 28

  36. 23/11 18:27

    Greek business chambers label 2018 government's budget "over-optimistic"

  37. 23/11 18:20

    European Union auditors launch full probe into ECB’s role in Greek bailouts

  38. 23/11 18:15

    Greek Minister and UK’s Callanan discuss progress in Brexit negotiations

  39. 23/11 18:11

    The 10 most famous and beloved Greek dishes

  40. 23/11 17:35

    European tourism: Strong year for outbound travel and solid growth outlook for 2018

  41. 23/11 17:11

    Honey and bee products festival at Peace and Friendship Stadium in Athens

  42. 23/11 16:34

    British movie icon Robert Pattinson in sightseeing tour at Athens Acropolis

  43. 23/11 16:04

    370 km-long Epirus trail to boost hiking tourism in Greece

  44. 23/11 14:02

    Conference on ‘Social Dialog and the Future of Work’ on November 23-24

  45. 23/11 12:50

    United States accuses Myanmar of ethnic cleansing against Muslims

  46. 23/11 10:43

    National Bank: Operation profits up 11% in Greece for January-September 2017

  47. 23/11 02:01

    Dutch Spar to return to Greek super market sector after deal with Asteras

  48. 23/11 01:53

    German police: Flights from Greece scrutinized like arrivals from Turkey and Egypt

  49. 23/11 01:44

    8 Greek airspace violations by 4 Turkish jets intercepted by Hellenic Air Force

  50. 23/11 01:37

    88,7% of exporters face problems at Thessaloniki port from night shift cancellation

  51. 23/11 01:32

    Greek PM’s request to postpone Saudi defense deal discussion causes furor

  52. 23/11 01:11

    Ancient Macedonian Kasta Tomb in Greece's Amphipolis set to open to public after excavation

  53. 23/11 01:00

    Average spending per tourist on Greek holiday in 2017 confined to 536.3€

  54. 23/11 00:56

    Thomas Cook: Bookings for summer holidays in Greece up

  55. 23/11 00:46

    Report: The new reality in the international tourist industry is... virtual

  56. 23/11 00:39

    Bollywood takes Greek island of Naxos by storm and goes viral

  57. 23/11 00:24

    19-year-old Greek model arrested in Hong Kong with cocaine worth $300K (video)

  58. 23/11 00:18

    “Van Gogh Alive” multimedia exhibition at Music Megaron in Athens

  59. 23/11 00:11

    Italy to take part in Cyprus-Greece-Egypt 2018 summit on Crete island

  60. 23/11 00:03

    Canadian kayaks solo from Norway to Greece in paddle for peace (video)

  61. 22/11 23:57

    Roman Emperor Hadrian and drowned Greek lover Antinous revisit Athens

  62. 22/11 23:49

    Iconic Greek Orthodox Church in Istanbul opens after three years of restorations

  63. 22/11 23:44

    European Union funds Greece for border control operations

  64. 22/11 23:43

    24-hour strike on Chios and Samos islands to protest planned VAT hike

  65. 22/11 23:22

    Europarliament committee to discuss Greek floods and EU aid on Thursday

  66. 22/11 23:16

    Greek-American family offers turkey dinners to 14,000 people

  67. 22/11 22:49

    Report: World’s best hotel bar located in Greece

  68. 22/11 22:43

    US embassy closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving celebration

  69. 22/11 22:35

    Matinee and midnight screenings at historic Astor movie theater in Athens

  70. 22/11 22:19

    Report: 6 reasons to stay in luxury homes in Greece

  71. 22/11 22:06

    Hellenic Management Association presents 2017 Marketing Excellence Awards

  72. 22/11 20:15

    Bank of Cyprus staff protest against debt collection outsourcing

  73. 22/11 18:58

    Greek opposition head to meet Cyprus president in Athens on Thursday

  74. 22/11 14:56

    Greek Feta cheese exporters to gain from EU-Canada trade agreement

  75. 22/11 14:28

    Hozoviotissa: One of oldest and most important monasteries in the Aegean

  76. 22/11 12:47

    ECB head says overall situation in Greece has significantly improved

  77. 22/11 10:19

    Alpha Bank organises Fintech Challenge ’17 on November 24-26

  78. 21/11 19:53

    Latest trend: Hollywood hotel to sell cannabis in lobby

  79. 21/11 19:46

    Booking.com: #BookingHero global social media competition with €25,000 prize

  80. 21/11 19:34

    Greek Australian doctors unite to promote better health for the community

  81. 21/11 19:29

    European Investment Bank approves €48 million for Greek gas network

  82. 21/11 19:22

    A bread recipe to bake with the Ancient Greek Zea grain

  83. 21/11 19:14

    Athens lost to Amsterdam for relocation of European Medicines Agency (EMA)

  84. 21/11 19:06

    20 Greek and Cypriot companies in Spielwarenmesse toy fair

  85. 21/11 18:56

    Albanian PM: We have spoiled Greece and will no longer be silent (video)

  86. 21/11 18:41

    Athens’ iconic King George Hotel bought by Greek company Lampsa

  87. 21/11 18:31

    First snow of the season falls on Parnitha Mountain near Athens

  88. 21/11 18:25

    Two more hot springs recognized as thermal spas in mainland Greece

  89. 21/11 18:18

    Top-5 cocktails of the year with Greek flavors

  90. 21/11 18:01

    EU: Stringent checking of Greek travelers in German airports to be discussed

  91. 21/11 17:54

    Hellenic News of America celebrates its 30th anniversary

  92. 21/11 17:37

    New poll shows battered SYRIZA trailing New Democracy by 12%

  93. 21/11 17:30

    Greek VP: Tourism can play a major role in the reconstruction of the economy

  94. 21/11 17:30

    Greek VP: Tourism can play a major role in the reconstruction of the economy

  95. 21/11 17:18

    Cyprus 2017 Tourism smashes records and pushes recovery

  96. 21/11 17:10

    Morgan Stanley: Growth of Airbnb slowing in U.S and Europe

  97. 21/11 16:26

    Christmas shows for the whole family at the Greek National Opera in Athens

  98. 21/11 14:21

    Twenty six antiquities to be repatriated from Austria to Greece

  99. 21/11 12:06

    Minister: Tourism policy has been extremely successful in Greece

  100. 21/11 10:47

    Leaders of Cyprus, Egypt, Greece pledge closer cooperation after Summit