Ancient caissons in the harbor of Corinth

caissonsAn international team of archaeologists during excavations of the harbor of the Greek city of Corinth, found the underwater structures, showing the value and wealth of the harbor. On the findings of the press release of the University of Copenhagen.

The city of Corinth was one of the most prosperous and powerful city for nearly a millennium, from the sixth century BC to the sixth century AD. It was built near the Corinth isthmus connecting the Peloponnese peninsula and the rest of Greece. City controlled all movement on land and sea isthmus – of Corinth Canal. According to ancient sources, maritime trade brought Corinth most of the revenue.

Scientists have studied the ancient harbor Lehaon belonging to Corinth, for several years. Before you start a full-scale excavation, the researchers conducted a geophysical survey of underwater ruins of the harbor. To this day, archaeologists discovered several piers, constructed of stone blocks, breakwater, pier, built of well-preserved wooden caissons and the entrance to the channel leading into the inner harbor. In 2015, scientists decided to focus on the study of two objects: the caissons and the entrance to the channel, made ​​of stone blocks.

The pier was built six wooden caissons, length of 57 meters is a unique design for the first time found in Greece. Caissons were the barges which have loaded and flooded. Based on the preliminary radiocarbon dating, archaeologists have dated the caisson breakwater V century. Around the same time in Lehaone it was built the Basilica of St. Leonidas, the largest Christian church at the time. Perhaps, they say was built at the same time as the basilica to the harbor could withstand a large flow of vehicles with pilgrims. Whatever it was, and the harbor and the Basilica were destroyed in the quake, which occurred at the end of VI or VII in the early centuries.

The remains of the entrance of the channel leading into the inner harbor Lehaona were visible on the coast before the excavation, so its position was clear. But the scale of construction was much more than the archaeologists assumed. Until now, scientists have discovered about 55 meters on both sides of the channel. They also found that harbor apparently was located farther towards the sea, about 45 meters from the shoreline Modern. In the future, the researchers plan to conduct geophysical research facility.

According to one of the leaders of the excavation, Bjorn Leuven, the purpose of research – to understand how to build and develop the harbor in different eras: ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine periods the existence of Corinth.

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