TechIliad's clues unlock ancient shipwrecks and artifacts off Greek coast

Iliad's clues unlock ancient shipwrecks and artifacts off Greek coast

Scientists found shipwrecks off the coast of Kasos Island.
Scientists found shipwrecks off the coast of Kasos Island.
Images source: © Licensor

3:44 PM EDT, March 20, 2024

The Iliad, attributed to Homer, dates back to the 8th or 7th century BCE. Despite its age, its content remains relevant today; archaeologists utilized its references in their search for shipwrecks off the coast of Greece, uncovering ten shipwrecks among other significant finds.

The research, conducted by the Greek National Foundation of Research and the Ministry of Culture, incorporated various historical and archaeological resources, including the Iliad. The epic mentions the island of Kasos, an important trading hub and participant in the battle against Troy during Homer's era.

Insights from the Iliad aid researchers

Utilizing clues from the Iliad and other historical sources proved invaluable during four research expeditions from 2019 to 2023 near Kasos in the Aegean Sea. These efforts led to the discovery of many archaeological "treasures."

A statement from the Greek Ministry of Culture reveals that the finds span an extensive period, from the prehistoric era (3000 BCE) to the Ottoman period, including artifacts from the Classical period (460 BCE), the Hellenistic period (100 BCE-100 CE), the Roman era (200 BCE-300 CE), and the Byzantine period (800-900 CE).

Among the discoveries were a Spanish Dressel 20 amphora with a seal dating back to 150-170 CE, African terra sigillata pottery from the Roman period, and an archaic stone anchor. These items indicate the diverse trade routes between Europe, Africa, and Asia, with insights supported by the IFL Science service.

Advanced scientific equipment played a critical role in these discoveries. Researchers utilized modern technology to capture over 20,000 underwater photographs, alongside sonar, mapping, and bathymetry techniques. These methods have shed light on Kasos’s history and contributed to our understanding of the Mediterranean’s rich cultural heritage.

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