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. 20/09 22:11

    Greece's Foreign Ministry awarded peace prize by World Jewish Congress

  2. 20/09 22:09

    EU's Dombrovskis: Greek economy is recovering

  3. 20/09 22:03

    Reactions over elimination of customs night-time shift at Thessaloniki port escalate

  4. 20/09 21:56

    Rio casino in Greece reopens after court order returning reserves

  5. 20/09 21:54

    Greek hoteliers push for taxes on Airbnb and competition

  6. 20/09 21:49

    Postlane Partners withdraws interest for Neorion shipyards on Syros island

  7. 20/09 21:39

    Greece-China Interministerial Committee meets on trade and investment initiatives

  8. 20/09 21:31

    Report: Planning and professionalism needed to protect Greek tourism

  9. 20/09 21:26

    American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce to organize U.S. Pavillion in 2018 TIF

  10. 20/09 21:21

    Greece-Russia Tourism Year inaugurated by Ministers of both countries

  11. 20/09 21:17

    Mexico: No casualties among members of the Greek community

  12. 20/09 20:34

    Greek tourism: + 5.3% travel receipts in July

  13. 20/09 20:11

    No buses and trolleys from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow in Athens

  14. 20/09 18:58

    TUI renovates Robinson Club Daidalos in Kos and purchases plot in Crete

  15. 20/09 16:52

    Mouzenidis Group: Two new Bomo Club hotels in Greece during 2018

  16. 20/09 12:13

    Swiss scholars locate lost ancient Temple of Artemis on Greek island of Evia (video)

  17. 20/09 10:09

    Exquisite findings in ongoing early Minoan cemetery excavation in Petras

  18. 19/09 23:27

    Impressive sight in "I. Kapodistrias" - At the most incredible airports in the world

  19. 19/09 23:14

    TripAdvisor: Top 10 Museums in Greece for 2017

  20. 19/09 22:53

    Turnover of the tourism related house rental in Greece estimated at € 1.7 billion in 2017

  21. 19/09 22:45

    TripAdvisor: Athens Acropolis Museum among top-8 in the world for 2017

  22. 19/09 18:51

    20-year extension of Athens airport concession to net €600 million for privatization program

  23. 19/09 18:48

    Greek-Chinese Joint Interministerial Committee meeting starts on Wednesday

  24. 19/09 18:45

    Greek island of Andros in Cyclades opens up to new tourism markets

  25. 19/09 18:40

    Daily Mail: British tourist wins €34,000 in damages from Greek hotel in Santorini

  26. 19/09 18:35

    Rotterdam experts: Alimos Beach in Athens ready for use in four days (video)

  27. 19/09 18:30

    GBR Consulting: Rise in occupancy of 5-star hotels in Athens but not in prices

  28. 19/09 18:05

    Iconic Temple of Olympian Zeus in central Athens to get structural makeover

  29. 19/09 17:53

    12th Annual Greek Roadshow to be held in London on September 20-21

  30. 19/09 17:49

    Israeli film entry in this year's Athens International Film Festival

  31. 19/09 17:36

    Mini heat wave hits Greece in September as tourism still blooms

  32. 19/09 16:05

    PAO football player Nikals Hult’s partner enjoys Greek vacation on Milos island

  33. 19/09 14:10

    Talks for sale of 40% of Greek power utility's lignite-fired capacity shift to EU

  34. 19/09 12:19

    Greece urges Ukraine not to restrict minority mother-tongue education

  35. 19/09 10:25

    National Bank: Greek labor market recovery picks up

  36. 19/09 01:16

    Alpha Bank to organize Fintech Challenge 2017 in Greece

  37. 19/09 01:12

    Greek teenager wins bronze medal in Microsoft Championships

  38. 19/09 01:09

    Museums and archaeological sites go on winter schedule in Greece

  39. 19/09 01:04

    Greek Community of Melbourne and National Library of Greece strike historic deal

  40. 19/09 00:59

    August sees new historic record in tourist arrivals in Cyprus

  41. 19/09 00:25

    Ancient Greek play "Iphigenia in Aulis" opens at the Getty Villa in Malibu

  42. 19/09 00:19

    European Investment Bank plans to inject around 7.0 billion in Greece

  43. 19/09 00:05

    Ancient Greek fortress discovered in Southern Russian Krasnodar region

  44. 18/09 22:53

    All-star line up at Gazi concert for Greek street paper ‘Shedia’ on Tuesday

  45. 18/09 20:49

    UNWTO reports record month for Greek tourism in July 2017

  46. 18/09 17:46

    Visit Greece: Ouzo,the uplifting Greek drink

  47. 18/09 16:38

    Municipality: Beaches in Vari, Voula and Vouliagmeni remain clean

  48. 18/09 14:34

    Report: Cyprus sells citizenships to billionaire Russians and Ukrainians

  49. 18/09 12:30

    At least 1,500 cubic meters of oil pumped out of sunken tanker in Saronic Gulf so far

  50. 18/09 10:35

    Rare artifacts and complex features in architecture found in Minoan palace on Cretan mountain

  51. 17/09 21:08

    Greece wins “Best Video in Europe” UNWTO Award

  52. 17/09 21:02

    Reuters: EU plan to raise taxes for global internet firms faces obstacles

  53. 17/09 20:54

    Report: Hiked property rent impacts all social groups in Greece

  54. 17/09 20:50

    Αt least 800 tons of heavy fuel oil pumped so far in the Saronic Gulf

  55. 17/09 20:41

    Customs officers in Thessaloniki port’s Gate 16 cut night shift as of today

  56. 17/09 20:32

    Navarino Challenge 2017 program of activities announced in Greece

  57. 17/09 20:26

    Terror alert at Paris airport with British Airways flight grounded (video)

  58. 17/09 20:21

    Greek opposition head: Private investments will be the key driver of economic growth

  59. 17/09 19:17

    Weather Forecast: Mini Autumn heatwave continues in Greece on Monday

  60. 17/09 15:06

    Impressive Air Show demonstrations at 2017 Athens Flying Week (videos)

  61. 17/09 14:16

    NYC Greek Film Festival on September 28: Romance, Mystery and Mercouri

  62. 17/09 14:00

    SEV: Each worker in private sector supports 2.8 jobless or public servants

  63. 17/09 13:51

    Greek chefs give Athens democracy forum guests a taste of filoxenia

  64. 17/09 13:45

    FinMin: Greece will not likely need precautionary credit line after program

  65. 17/09 13:38

    Debt write-offs to be based on properties in Greece

  66. 17/09 13:26

    New permanent representative of Greece to the UN presents credentials

  67. 17/09 11:31

    Research: Earthquakes might have shaped ancient Greek culture

  68. 16/09 21:33

    Eurogroup chief: Aim is to complete Greek 3rd review before end of year

  69. 16/09 21:27

    Size and value obstacles in Juncker stimulus plan's application in Greece

  70. 16/09 21:23

    UK Prime Minister Theresa May raises terror threat to “critical”

  71. 16/09 21:18

    Greek health ministry decision bans swimming in areas affected by oil spill

  72. 16/09 21:10

    Full list of features of Delphi Bank Greek Film Festival in October announced

  73. 16/09 21:06

    Greek Shipowners' president to UK minister: London like a 'second home to us'

  74. 16/09 20:57

    Greek FM in New York to participate in UN General Assembly session

  75. 16/09 20:50

    Uproar over American rapper singing in Santorini Greek Orthodox Church Altar (video)

  76. 16/09 20:45

    Local official: Beaches between Voula and Sounio are not affected by oil spill

  77. 16/09 20:38

    Eurozone warns Greece over austerity delays and Georgiou prosecution

  78. 16/09 18:32

    Greek foreign ministry condemns terrorist attack in London underground

  79. 16/09 16:27

    Greek opposition leaden repeats he’ll back private colleges in Greece

  80. 16/09 16:15

    ECB opposes IMF demand over new stress tests and AQR for Greek banks

  81. 16/09 12:04

    (Update) Greek police arrest 55-year-old man over theft of 5.7 million-year-old footprints in Crete

  82. 16/09 10:51

    Futuristic “Star Trek” superyacht docks in Mykonos (video)

  83. 15/09 18:26

    Dare to visit North Korea as a tourist?

  84. 15/09 18:18

    Advito’s 2018 Industry Forecast predicts how new technologies shape the future of travel

  85. 15/09 18:03

    Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group CEO: We are a strategic investor for Greece

  86. 15/09 18:00

    Maritime Cyprus 2017 conference takes place in October in Limassol

  87. 15/09 17:57

    IMF urges for asset quality review and stress tests for Greek banks

  88. 15/09 17:51

    Global concern after North Korea fires ballistic missile over Japan

  89. 15/09 17:48

    Greek banks reduce borrowing from ELA Eurosystem in August

  90. 15/09 17:45

    Greece's Eurobank in talks to sell Romanian subsidiaries

  91. 15/09 17:39

    Engine failure on London to Athens British Airways plane upsets passengers

  92. 15/09 17:36

    Greek PPC unveils areas of cooperation with Chinese Shenhua Group

  93. 15/09 17:33

    Greece and US “working systematically” for a Tsipras-Trump meeting

  94. 15/09 17:28

    Opposition head outlines vision for northern Greece as global player in tech innovation

  95. 15/09 17:24

    Media Minister on CNN: Greece to return to markets in August 2018 (video)

  96. 15/09 17:21

    ECB underlines improvement in liquidity of Greek banks

  97. 15/09 16:55

    Elevation of the Holy Cross celebrated by Greeks worldwide (Video)

  98. 15/09 16:52

    Greek port passenger traffic down and cargo traffic up in Q1

  99. 15/09 16:49

    Visitors and revenues in Greek museums and ancient sites up in January-May

  100. 15/09 16:44

    22 hurt as improvised bomb explodes on London subway train (video)