Fourni, Greece, is turning out to be a hotspot for sunken ships. Last year, a team of Greek and American underwater archaeologists discovered 22 wrecks around the archipelago. This year, they discovered 23 more. [Read the full story here]
A team of 25 divers from the U.S.-based RPM Nautical Foundation and the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities documented the wrecks from June 8 to July 2, 2016. This second survey followed an initial fruitful expedition in September 2015.
Archaic to modern
While some of the newly discovered shipwrecks are hardly 150 years old, some are up to 2,500 years old, such as this sunken cargo of amphoras from the late Archaic period (c. 525-480 BC).
From the seafloor to the surface
The divers took samples of artifacts from each wreck to the surface for analysis. The project leaders hope lab tests could reveal more information about the cargo.
Amphoras were like the delivery containers of the ancient world. Even after hundreds of years, these ceramic vessels might still contain residues of olive oil or wine inside.
In situ preservation
The researchers left most of the artifacts from in situ, and instead focused on documenting and mapping the wrecks.
Fourni, which is a collection of small islands near Turkey, was a popular anchorage and navigational point for Aegean crossing routes. Usually it was safe for ships, but over thousands of years, storms inevitably claimed some vessels, like this wooden ship resting on the seaflood.