2020 Expedition Resumes After Hiatus

Following a year dedicated to analyzing archaeological finds ([hiatus]), the research consortium comprised of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and the Korseai Institute of Historical and Archaeological Research recommenced fieldwork in September 2020 (September 4 to 30). This marked the fifth phase of underwater archaeological investigations in the Fournoi archipelago.

Initial Survey Results (2015-2018)

The initial four-year survey (2015-2018) was a preliminary exploration mission. The team’s primary objectives were locating, documenting, and studying ancient, medieval, and post-Byzantine shipwrecks within the Fournoi island complex. Their efforts yielded the identification and cataloging of 58 shipwrecks alongside a vast collection of individual artifacts and discarded cargo.

Focus of the 2020 Expedition

The 2020 research campaign concentrated on enhancing the documentation of previously identified wrecks. The team meticulously cleaned these wrecks of marine organisms and utilized photogrammetry techniques to capture their current condition. Specific attention was given to the eastern coasts of Fournoi and the island of Agios Minas, with particular interest in wrecks numbered 7, 12, 15, and 30 due to the variety and abundance of their cargo.

Significant Discoveries at Wreck Sites

  • Wreck No. 12: Located north of Agios Minas, this wreck yielded two unrecorded amphora types, suggesting a reevaluation of its dating to the 5th century A.D. These amphorae are stylistically linked to production centers in the Black Sea.
  • Wreck No. 7: Previously known for containing Chian amphorae from the mid-4th century BC and a decorated louterion, this wreck provided one of only three remaining intact pithoi. A black glazed fish-plate found within the vessel supported the initial dating estimates for the wreck.

Additional Findings

  • Kamari Anchorage Area: An extensive underwater survey of the anchorage area near the settlement of Kamari on Phournoi’s eastern side resulted in the photographic documentation of numerous anchors dating from the Hellenistic period to the 19th century.
  • Submerged Settlement: A limited amount of plain pottery was recovered from a submerged settlement south of Kamari’s coast. Initial analysis suggests this pottery dates back to the middle Roman period (2nd-3rd century AD), potentially indicating the settlement’s earliest phase.

Research Team and Acknowledgments

The research project engaged a team of 26 specialists in various disciplines, including archaeology, architecture, topography, conservation, diving, photography, and students.
Dr. George Koutsouflakis of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities oversaw the project’s overall direction. The Municipality of Fournoi Korseon, the Insitute of Historical and Archaeological Research “Korseai,” and various domestic and international corporate sponsors provided financial support for the project.

Korseai Institute of Historical & Archaeological Research

Our mission is to advance the understanding of the past through rigorous research and innovative approaches.