October 21, 2020
"Surveying Mediterranean shipwrecks to understand ancient Greek maritime networks" | Professor Mantha Zarmakoupi and Dr George Koutsouflakis | October 21, 2020 | The Britsh Academy
The islands of Levitha, Kinaros and Maura lie at the intersection of main sailing routes of the Aegean, connecting Asia Minor with the Cyclades and mainland Greece. Literary sources indicate that they are also located at the intersection of historically important sailing routes of the Aegean and local fishermen and sponge-divers have given information about shipwrecks in this area. Despite this, no underwater survey had ever been conducted to trace these maritime routes. Our research project focused on locating the shipwrecks around the island of Levitha, so as to document and further investigate these routes. The arrangement of the four islands creates an arch that spans the distance between the island of Leros in the Dodecanese and the island of Amorgos in the Cyclades. Each one of the islands forms a barrier towards the north, while their southern sides are fairly protected from the northern winds that usually blow during the sailing season.
Levitha is an archaeologically unexplored island. There is no textual evidence for a settlement on the island, even though there is a Hellenistic fortified acropolis located at Kastro, at the south side of the island and a Hellenistic tower at Pyrgalio, at the southeast edge of the island.