Once a long time ago, this unique place was inhabited by an advanced civilization. Then, something happened and the city vanished consumed by the sea.
Some say this is the world’s oldest city and the underwater ruins are remains of the legendary city of Atlantis.
The city of Pavlopetri, underwater off the coast of southern Laconia in Greece, is about 5000 years old.
This underwater site is unique.
An entire town is resting underwater, including streets, buildings, courtyards, and tombs. It has at least 15 buildings submerged in three to four meters of water. The walls are made of uncut aeolianite, sandstone and limestone blocks, and were built without mortar. The remains cover an area of approximately 50,000 square metres.
Pavlopetri was presumably once a thriving harbour town where the inhabitants conducted local and long distance trade throughout the Mediterranean – its sandy and well-protected bay would have been ideal for beaching Bronze Age ships. As such the site offers major new insights into the workings of Mycenaean society. It was discovered in 1967 by Nicholas Flemming and mapped in 1968 by a team of archaeologists from Cambridge.
Back in 2009, scientist made here stunning discoveries of late Neolithic pottery.
Marine geo-archaeologist Dr Nic Flemming of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton said: “The discovery of Neolithic pottery is incredible!
It means that we are looking at a port city which may be 5000-6000 years old, with trade goods and wrecks nearby showing some of the very earliest days of seafaring trade in the Mediterranean.
Diver over walls at Pavlopetri – Image credit & copyright: Jon Henderson
Underwater ruins of Pavlopetri – Image credit & copyright: Jon Henderson
What we’ve got here is something which is two or even three thousand years older than most of the submerged cities which have been studied. And it is uniquely complete.
We have almost the complete town plan, the main streets and all of the domestic buildings. We can study how it was used as a port, where ships came in and how trade was managed.”
CGI representation of a Pavlopetri building © BBC
Jon Henderson underwater, in situ, with CGI representation of 4,000-year-old three-legged pot. Image credit & copyright: Jon Henderson
CGI representation of Pavlopetri view. © BBC
A group of underwater archeologists, led by Jon Henderson have done their best to bring this mysterious sunken city back to life again.
With help of latest technology they have rebuilt the city. This kind of reconstruction gives us a remarkable chance to travel back in time and see what Pavlopetri could have looked like 5,000 years ago.