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New discoveries in ancient sunken port - video

Recent discoveries in the ancient port of Corinth shed some light on the engineering craftsmanship of the ancient Romans who, in the 1st century BC, set about rebuilding the port to restore Corinth’s position and usher in a golden age for the city. Harbour basins, the ruins of a pier and most probably a lighthouse
Published: December 17, 2017 - 16:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:11
New discoveries in ancient sunken port – video

Recent discoveries in the ancient port of Corinth shed some light on the engineering craftsmanship of the ancient Romans who, in the 1st century BC, set about rebuilding the port to restore Corinth’s position and usher in a golden age for the city. Harbour basins, the ruins of a pier and most probably a lighthouse have been discovered.

Lechajon was one of the two ports of Corinth. It was located in the Corinthian Gulf, while the port of Kenchreai was situated in the Corinthian Isthmus on the Aegean Sea. In ancient times the city was a major force both commercially and militarily. Only the conquest and destruction of the city in 146 BC marginalised the role of Corinth.

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One hundred years later in 44 BC, the city was heavily modernised by Julius Caesar himself. As a result, Corinth soon regained its splendour and became a key trade and port centre in the eastern Mediterranean. The luxurious goods and splendour were reflected in the proverb saying “Not everyone can afford to go to Corinth”.

The latest discoveries come from the period described above. Well-preserved harbour buildings using 5-ton stone blocks and well-preserved finds of organic matter are the gems of this year’s work by the Lechaion Harbour Project.

[blockquote style=”2″]”During works carried out in 2017, the first Roman structures saw the light of day. The mysterious monument located in the middle of the harbour basin, dating to the early years of the 1st century BC, is most likely part of the Roman reconstruction of the port of Lechajon to restore Corinth to its glory. As is the inner harbour basin itself, which measures 24,500 m². We have also identified a 40,000 m² external harbour basin, which was most likely built in the 6th century.” – said Bjørn Lovén, archaeologist at the University of Copenhagen[/blockquote].

In addition to these structures, archaeologists also discovered two large piers, built from 5-ton stone blocks and marking the entrance to the harbour. They also found traces that Lechajon had its own lighthouse.

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Ancient authors repeatedly stressed in their chronicles that Lechajon was the most preferred route for merchant ships. For centuries, it provided Corinth with the attention and resources to become an extremely important cultural centre that was bustling with life all year round.

Almost an equal year ago, we wrote about earlier discoveries by underwater archaeologists at this site. Researchers at that time, as a result of their work and exploration, connected the outer and inner harbour of Corinth, which was widely reported in the scientific world. Our last year’s text can be found here.

Source: carlsbergfondet.dk, humanities.ku.dk
Photo: K. Xenikakis & S. Gesafidi, Vassilis Tsiairis, Spyros Kokkinakis & Bjørn Lovén/Lechaion Harbour Project

divers24.pl/28986-archeologists-polished-starozytne-porty-koryntu-video/

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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