Ancient shipwreck off Peloponnese had cargo of amphorae

A shipwreck from the Classical era first discovered in the narrow channel between the island of Kythira and Neapolis in the Peloponnese in 2019 was found to be carrying several amphorae, the Ministry of Culture & Sports said on Monday. Most of the amphorae were of the Corfu type, while some were of the type known as Solocha II (possibly from ancient Peparithos, as the island of Skopelos was known), some were from Chios, and there were also several other types of ceramic tableware .

The amphorae were raised between September 24 and 27 from a depth of 222 meters in a salvage operation by the Underwater Antiquities Ephorate with funding by the Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO). The ship lies in an area that is on the path of a project to lay a power cable linking Kissamos to Neapolis. The Hellenic Center for Marine Research lent a Max Rover remote operated underwater vehicle.

According to the ministry, the wreck is dated between the end of the 5th century BC and the middle of the 4th century BC, and appears to have settled on the bottom of the sea intact, since the dispersal of the objects follows the shape of the ship.

The land and seas of Greece “hide unexplored cultural treasures,” Culture & Sports Minister Lina Mendoni said, “and during any major public or private project, the possibility of discovering antiquities is extremely high.” She thanked all agencies involved.

A 3D image of the wreck is being worked on and expected to clarify the number of objects lying on the seabed, the extent of their dispersal, and the approximate size of the ship, and possibly the volume of the freight as well. Working on this are members of the Hellenic Center for Marine Research, while archaeologists and oceanographers are studying the shipwreck at the Ephorate.