Off the beaten track: Pavlopetri, the city beneath the waves

Just off the southern coast of mainland Greece lies the oldest submerged city in the world, Pavlopetri, which thrived for 2,000 years during the Bronze Age. The ancient city of Pavlopetri has an almost complete town plan with streets and buildings, making it unique in terms of underwater cities.

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Initially inhabited in 3,500 BC, with a surface larger than 60 acres, its buildings are divided into smaller spaces and in some cases, courtyards. At least six prehistoric streets are noticeable and the submerged architectural remains extend to the islet of Pavlopetri, where ancient ruins are still evident. Moreover, among the immersed ruins there is also a cemetery.

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The secrets of Pavlopetri were brought to light by an international team of experts, using the latest technology to investigate the site and digitally raise it from the seabed. The team scoured the sea floor for any artifacts that have eroded from the sands, discovering thousands of fragments, each providing significant clues about the everyday lives of Pavlopetri inhabitants. From the buildings to the trade goods and the everyday tableware, every artefact sheds light on this long-forgotten world.

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