Exploring A ‘Lost’ City Of The Mycenaeans
A Google Earth image, modified by Saronic Harbors Archaeological Research Project (SHARP) co-director Thomas Tartaron, shows the location of the Korphos-Kalamianos site. (Credit: Image courtesy Saronic Harbors Archaeological Research Project)
ScienceDaily (Mar. 15, 2008) — Along an isolated, rocky stretch of Greek shoreline, a Florida State University researcher and his students are unlocking the secrets of a partially submerged, “lost” harbor town believed to have been built by the ancient Mycenaeans nearly 3,500 years ago.
“This is really a remarkable find,” said Professor Daniel J. Pullen, chairman of FSU’s Department of Classics. “It is rare indeed to locate an entire town built during the Late Bronze Age that shows this level of preservation.”
Pullen and a colleague, Assistant Professor of Classical Studies Thomas F. Tartaron of 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” — the latter induced by earthquakes along the numerous local faults — “much of the soil had already been stripped from the site,” Pullen said. “So the architectural remains of about 20 acres of closely built structures were plainly visible.”
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,” Pullen said. “This would indicate that the settlement was built with some strategic purpose — perhaps as a military or naval outpost.”