Washington, October 22 (ANI): Archaeologists surveying the world's oldest submerged town, off the southern Laconia coast of Greece, have found evidence in the form of ceramics that indicate the town dates back to 5,000 years.
The findings indicate that the town of Pavlopetri was occupied some 5,000 years ago - at least 1,200 years earlier than originally thought.
These remarkable findings have been made public by the Greek government after the start of a five-year collaborative project involving the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and The University of Nottingham.
This summer the team carried out a detailed digital underwater survey and study of the structural remains, which until this year were thought to belong to the Mycenaean period - around 1600 to 1000 BC.
The survey surpassed all their expectations.
Their investigations revealed another 9,000 square metres of new buildings as well as ceramics that suggest the site was occupied throughout the Bronze Age - from at least 2800 BC to 1100 BC.
According to Dr Jon Henderson, an underwater archaeologist from the Department of Archaeology at The University of Nottingham, "This site is unique in that we have almost the complete town plan, the main streets and domestic buildings, courtyards, rock-cut tombs and what appear to be religious buildings, clearly visible on the seabed."
"Equally as a harbour settlement, the study of the archaeological material we have recovered will be extremely important in terms of revealing how maritime trade was conducted and managed in the Bronze Age," he said.
Possibly one of the most important discoveries has been the identification of what could be a megaron - a large rectangular great hall - from the Early Bronze Age period.
They have also found over 9,000 square metres of new buildings including what could be the first example of a pillar crypt ever discovered on the Greek mainland.
Two new stone built cist graves were also discovered alongside what appears to be a Middle Bronze Age pithos burial.
"It is a rare find and it is significant because as a submerged site it was never re-occupied and therefore represents a frozen moment of the past," said Elias Spondylis, Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture in Greece. (ANI)