Researchers found a total of 22 shipwrecks around a Greek island, which may give clues about the past of what may possibly be the shipwreck center of the world.
The mission, which was performed through the collaboration of Greek and American underwater archaeologists, focused on a small Fourni archipelago measuring about 17 square miles. The said area is actually a group of 13 islands and islets situated between Icaria and the eastern part of Aegean islands of Samos.
Peter Campbell from the University of Southampton and co-director of RPM Nautical Foundation said that the discovery exceeded their expectations. He further explained that in a span of 13 days, they were already able to add up about 12 percent of shipwrecks to the overall ancient shipwrecks known to exist in Greek waters.
"In a typical survey we locate four or five shipwrecks per season in the best cases," said George Koutsouflakis, director of the Greek group. He added that that the team expected that the season would be a success but no one was geared up for this. "Shipwrecks were found literally everywhere," he said.
Koutsouflakis also said that aside from the numerous shipwrecks found, another startling part of the discovery was the variation of the cargoes, with some of it unearthed for the first time ever.
The cargoes exposed details of trading between Aegean Sea, Black Sea, Egypt, Levant and Cyprus during those times. A minimum of three ships had a cargo of jars, which have not been discovered before in other shipwrecks.
To map out the individual shipwrecks, the experts used photogrammetry to form three-dimensional site plans. The researchers obtained model artifacts from each wreck location to be used in scientific studies and later displayed in museums.
The experts said that the number of shipwrecks found in the area may signify the large amount of traffic along that route, overpowering claims that the islands may have been unsafe.
Campbell said the team plans to return to Fourni next year to continue with their investigations.