Centuries' Worth Of Shipwrecks Found On The Coast Of Tiny Greek Island


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockAug 13 2019, 21:27 UTC

Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities

Along the rocky shores of the Aegean Sea, marine archeologists have discovered a graveyard of ancient shipwrecks loaded with treasures. 


The haul was recently discovered off the coast of Levitha, a tiny Greek island found in the Aegean Sea of the eastern Mediterranean, by researchers from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities (the Greek agency for marine archaeology)

A total of five shipwrecks were discovered lying on the seafloor over the course of 57 group dives along almost a third of the island's 35-kilometer (21.7-mile) coastline. Based on their cargo, the ships sunk during a number of different historical periods, spanning from the 3rd century BCE to the dawn of the Christian period. 

Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities

Primarily through studying the different types of amphora vessels onboard, the team identified a 3rd century BCE shipwreck that had cargo from the cities of Knidos, Kos, Rhodes, Phoenicia, and Carthage. They also found shipwrecks from the 2nd century BCE, 1st century BCE, the 2nd century CE, and finally a shipwreck with amphorae dating back to the early Christian period.   

On top of that, one of their dives revealed the presence of a vast granite anchor, thought to date back to the 6th century BCE, spotted at a depth of over 45 meters (150 feet) below the sea surface.


The Aegean Sea has a sea route used by many cultures over the centuries, from the Greeks and Romans to the Byzantine Empire and the Ottomans. Traces of these cultures can be seen in the different cargo found scattered around the shipwrecks. 

Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities

However, the seas around the Aegean Islands aren't the easiest waters to traverse. Just recently, a team of international explorers set sail in a historically accurate reed boat to see it was even possible for the ancient people to sail to the Black Sea via the Aegean Sea.

While this rugged corner of the Medditerean is no doubt littered with shipwrecks, it is perhaps no surprise these discoveries have laid untouched for millennia considering the population of Leviathan could fit into a medium-sized car. The Greek island, located some 2.5 hours away by boat to the closest inhabited area, is home to one family who has been living there since 1820. 

Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities

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