Sunday, 20 August 2017

Greece: New Underwater Archaeological Site Designated Off Polyaigos Island   
1 February 2010 | A shipwreck located off the small uninhabited Cycladic island of Polyaigos in the central Aegean will be designated as an “underwater archaeological site” by Greece’s Culture Ministry, the institution’s representatives announced recently.

The shipwreck, first spotted in 2004, was initially explored by underwater archaeologists in the fall of 2009, the Athens News Agency reported today. These excavations resulted in the discovery of valuable archaeological objects, including amphorae, ceramic vases and fragments of the vessel’s anchor.

In addition, the shipwreck was photographed and filmed in detail, which allowed the creation of a high-definition photo-mosaic, while procedures have been set in motion to designate the area as an underwater archaeological site.

The analysis of the recovered amphorae dated the wreck to between the end of the fifth century and the first half of the fourth century BC. At least three types of amphorae were identified, one of which originated from ancient Peparithos (the island of Skopelos), while the others were closely identified with Classical Era amphorae workshops of the northern Aegean.

The Polyaigos shipwreck, according to the Ministry’s announcement, cited by the media, sheds light in the study of sea-borne commercial routes of the Classical period and the movement of goods in the southwestern part of the Cyclades island chain.

The name of Polyaigos, which lies near the islands of Milos and Kimolos, means ‘many goats’, since flocks of goats, belonging to shepherds from the two nearby islands, are its only inhabitants.
Although barren due to grazing by the livestock, the media noted that Polyaigos has a sprinkling of breathtaking beaches, mainly on the southern coast of the island, as well as a large number of sea-surface caves that house a population of the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus), one of the most endangered species of mammals in the world.

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