3,500-year-old lost harbor town discovered in Greece

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Washington, March 12 : A team of researchers have found a partially submerged 'lost' harbor town along a rocky stretch of Greek shoreline, that is believed to have been built by the ancient Mycenaeans nearly 3,500 years ago.

Professor Daniel J. Pullen, chairman of FSU's (Florida State University) Department of Classics, and a colleague from the University of Pennsylvania, led students from both universities in conducting an initial study of the site during May and June of 2007. What they found was unique: an archaeological site that required very little digging. Because of soil erosion and tectonic subsidence, much of the soil had already been stripped from the site," said Pullen. "So the architectural remains of about 20 acres of closely built structures were plainly visible," he added. Although more than three millennia of earthquakes and other factors have collapsed the structures, what remains are the buildings' foundations, walls that in some places still stand nearly 5 feet tall, and a number of clues as to the settlement's construction and purpose.

"All of the structures were laid out in a grid pattern, which suggests that the entire community was planned and then built all at once, rather than piecemeal," said Pullen. "This would indicate that the settlement was built with some strategic purpose - perhaps as a military or naval outpost," he added.

The settlement, referred to as Korphos-Kalamianos by the researchers, rests on the shores of the Saronic Gulf in the western Aegean Sea about 60 miles to the southwest of the Greek capital, Athens.

"We have identified some fortification walls with gates on the inland side of Korphos-Kalamianos, which does suggest that the town had at least some role as a fortress, possibly to protect the harbor," said Pullen.

"This is really a remarkable find," said Pullen. "It is rare indeed to locate an entire town built during the Late Bronze Age that shows this level of preservation," he added.

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