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Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

ARTICLES | 2018

1 December 2018

Το έργο της Εφορείας Εναλίων Αρχαιοτήτων τα έτη 1991-1993 και 2006-2007

Elpida Chatzidaki In A. G. Simosi (ed.) 2018. Βουτιά στα Περασμένα. Η Υποβρύχια Αρχαιολογική Έρευνα, 1976-2014, Athens: 23-32.

Two ancient shipwrecks that were investigated and excavated by the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities between 1991 and 2000 and also from 2003 to 2009 under the direction of the undersigned who served at the time as Deputy Head or Head of the Ephorate are worthy of special attention. The shipwreck off Peristera Island near Alonnisos is the largest ship dating from the Classical period that has been found so far, whose cargo comprised 4,000 commercial amphorae as well as Attic black-glazed luxury vessels. For the first time it is corroborated that ships which exceeded 250 metric tons in weight were built by Greek shipwrights already since the 5th c. BC, thus confirming one more time the accuracy of Thucydides as a historian when he referred to the Athenian ναῦν μυριοφόρον (of 10,000 talents’ burden) sent at the Sicilian Expedition.

The second shipwreck was located off the islet of Pseira on Mirabello Bay in southern Crete and dates back to the Middle Minoan IIB period. The nearly 200 finds that were retrieved from its cargo and the surrounding area constitute the largest collection of transport vessels of the Middle Minoan IIB period. It has been estimated that the ship was 10 to 15 m long, whereas its weight has not been calculated yet since the vases must be thoroughly cleaned from sea organisms and weighed first. This excavation has ascertained the existence of an extroverted maritime society which early on crossed the Cretan Sea daringly trading goods with Crete and the East.

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