In two recent expeditions, a dive team of archaeologists has discovered 45 shipwrecks in total between the Greek islands of Samos and Ikaria, reports website Deeper Blue.
While 22 were identified last autumn, the most recent 23 finds were produced as part of the 2016 Fuorni Underwater Survey, which was undertaken between 8 June and 2 July.
In total 25 divers took part from the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and the U.S. non-profit RPM Nautical Foundation, with the discoveries made in waters as deep as 65 meters.
In addition to the discovery of the shipwrecks, which dated back to the Greek golden age right through to the early 19th century, many were also found to have anchors, pottery and amphorae in their surrounds.
The sunken cargo of amphoras for example, was found to date as far back as the late Archaic period (c. 525-480 BC).
A spokesperson from Greek Ephorate attributed the successful expeditions to the extensive knowledge of locals, which had been shared and documented.
“Crucial to the success of the investigation has been the awareness of the local population and the extensive information about the existence of antiquities on the seabed provided by the fishing community and the divers of Fourni and the sponge-divers from Kalymnos, which enabled a fast-track approach,” they told DiverNet.
According to a statement on the RPM Nautical Foundation’s website, the next step is to “fully catalogue and document the underwater cultural heritage of the archipelago and learn more about ancient trade and navigation in the Aegean Sea.”
Samples from each artefact were brought back to the surface, in the hope that lab tests will reveal further information regarding their historical significance.