Monday, March 14, 2016

Ancient port hub at Corinth

UNDERWATER ARCHAEOLOGY: Archaeologists Find Monumental Piers in Partially Sunken Harbor City of Corinth. Secrets of Byzantine harbor-building found by Danish and Greek archaeologists in Corinthian port of Lechaion, a trading hub for over a thousand years (, Haaretz).
Underwater excavations of the ancient city of Corinth have uncovered monumental piers and evidence that the sunken port of Lechaion's functioned as a booming trading hub for over a thousand years.

Ancient sources speak of Corinth as a wealthy trading center with a mixed population of Greeks, Romans, and Jews. According to the Greek Scriptures, it was in the Corinth synagogue that the Apostle Paul preached, sparking some controversy among its members. Now, recent underwater excavations by a team of Danish and Greek archaeologists have uncovered the infrastructure of a major harbor, and evidence of vibrant maritime activity spanning the 6th century BCE to the 6th century CE.

“Lechaion is one of the most important harbor towns of antiquity, and what makes Lechaion so special is that it had been in virtually continuous use for more than a thousand years from around 600 BC until the late 6th/early 7th century AD," says Dr. Bjørn Lovén from Copenhagen University and co-director of the underwater excavations of Lechaion. "We hope that we will be able to understand how Lechaion and other harbors developed over this wide span of time."

The underwater excavators have been exploring the harbor for two years. The recent discoveries include two monumental piers constructed of ashlar blocks along with a smaller pier, two areas of wooden caissons, a breakwater, and an entrance canal leading into Lechaion’s three inner harbor basins.