Archaeologists discover 2,500-year-old Battle of Salamis site

Archaeologists have discovered the site where the Greek fleet gathered for the Battle of Salamis (480BC), the first great naval battle recorded in history and one of the most important ever fought by ancient Greeks. Taking place during the Greco-Persian Wars, the Greek naval troops managed to defeat a much larger Persian fleet.

The scientific team in Greece have discovered antiquities at the ancient port of Ambelakia Bay, believed to be at the spot Greek naval forces assembled before engaging in the historic battle.

The Greek Ministry of Culture stated, “This is the commercial and possibly military port of the Classical and Hellenistic city-municipality of Salamis, the largest and closest to the Athenian state, after the three ports of Piraeus (Kantharos, Zea, Mounichia),” adding that “It is also the place where at least part of the united Greek fleet gathered on the eve of the great battle of 480 BC, which is adjacent to the most important monuments of Victory: the Polyandreion (tomb) of Salamis and the trophy on Kynosoura. References to the ancient port of Salamis responded to works geographer Skylakos (4th c. BC), the geographer Stravonas (1st Century BC-1st Century AD) and Pausanias (2nd century AD).”

Using aerial photography, photogrammentric processing, and topographical and architectural documentation, the archaeologists identified ancient harbour structures and fortifications, alongside the remains of other buildings.

A number of artefacts were also recovered, including numerous fragments of amphorae and other vases from various periods, as well as a copper coin from the 4th century B.C. Found in the Ambelakia Bay, these objects gradually sink and emerge due to changes in sea levels.

The finds were the result of in-depth excavations and underwater archaeological surveys, which started in November and December 2016, as part of a three-year program funded by the British Horon Frost Foundation (an organisation which supports Maritime Archaeology in the eastern Mediterranean Sea).

 

*Images courtesy of Greek Ministry of Culture

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.