Classical Era amphorae

Exploration of shipwreck of Polyaigos

From Ana Mpa

The Culture Ministry intends to designate a shipwreck off the tiny uninhabited Cycladic isle of Polyaigos, in the central Aegean, as a "underwater archaeological site" after completion of an initial examination of finds that surfaced during recent marine digs, according to a ministry announcement.

Divers on the maritime excavations in November 2009 recovered vases dating back to the 4th and 5th centuries BC from depths of 25-49 meters off the coast of Polyaigos

Aquatic archaeologists brought up such artifacts as amphorae used for carrying, and small table ceramic vases, all intact, as well as fragments of the shipwrecked vessel's anchor.

A team from the the underwater antiquities Ephoreia comprised of archaeologist-divers Elias Spondylis, George Koutsouflakis and Efstathios Stathis, depth technicians Petros Tsampourakis and Ludwig Mersenier, and underwater photographer/cinematographer Vassilis Mentoyiannis, in November made an initial exploration of the wreck site, which had been spotted in 2004.

The ancient vessel was loaded with amphorae, which are scattered around the wreck in two main concentrations.

An analysis of the amphorae recovered dated the wreck to between the end of the 5th century BC and the first half of the 4th century BC.

At least three types of amphorae were identified, of which one originated from ancient Peparithos (the island of Skopelos), while the others were closely identified with Classical Era amphorae workshops of the northern Aegean.

Four of the intact amphorae recovered were pointed-bottom carrying vessels, while the other two intact amphorae were smaller ceramic table vases.