Cluster of Roman Shipwrecks Suddenly Noticed Off Greek Island of Naxos

by Luke Higgins

A cluster of ancient shipwrecks dating to the Roman Empire era 2,000 years ago or more has been discovered off the Mediterranean island of Naxos, Greece.

The find is remarkable both for the sheer number of wrecks discovered in shallow water, around 30 meters in depth, and the fact that it hadn’t been made before. As the innumerable tourists to the area sunbathing on its beaches can attest, the sea at Naxos is crystal clear.

Maritime archaeologist combs the Parnamos, Naxos seabed with a metal detector. Frode Kvalo
In antiquity Naxos was less renowned for its gorgeous beaches and more for producing fine-grained marble, excellent for sculpting. Some of the Greek masterpieces were made of marble quarried on the island. In fact examples of sculptures made of Naxian marble (and Parian marble from the next-door island of Paros) have been found around much of the Mediterranean, including in Israel. In 2015 archaeologists announced the discovery of a parian marble slab inscribed in Hebrew in the Galilee.

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