Lechaion is an ancient harbor-town of ancient Corinth that went underwater after being destroyed by an earthquake. International team of researchers are joining up to investigate using innovative technologies.
Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities (Greece), the University of Copenhagen and the Danish Institute at Athens have been investigating the ancient harbor-town of Lechaion. One of the surprising discoveries they had is the existence of wooden caissons in the sunken city. It is rare to find such materials in the Mediterranean because of the salty water and high temperatures. Woodworms would usually consume underwater wooden objects just months after the materials submerged. The caissons found in Lechaion have been dated to the middle of the fifth century.
The ruins of Lechaions had been difficult for historians and archaeologists to study because majority of the town was consumed by the Mediterranean. This time around the combined forces of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, the University of Copenhagen and the Danish Institute of Athens had net various discoveries. The Greek-Danish team used a newly developed 3D parametric sub-bottom profiler to survey the seaward side of the harbor.
“We have found and documented several monumental architectural structures, built at great expense, showing that Lechaion was developed as a grand harbor to match the importance of her powerful metropolis, Corinth,” Bjørn Lovén, an archaeologist from the University of Copenhagen, stated.
According to Lovén, the Lechaion Harbour Project is all about understanding how the harbor-town evolved over time. The project also studies the economic and military situations of the cities across periods from Greek to Byzantine.
Ancient Corinth is found in Southern Greece, north side of the Peloponnese. This city was a major location for trade and naval fleet because of its strategic placement. It was inhabited starting in the Neolithic period 5000-3000 B.C. Ancient Corinth was considered the wealthiest city in the ancient world.