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Expedition to search for submerged Greek sites

Greek and Swiss archaeologists are going to be assisted by the largest solar catamaran, the “MS Turanor PlanetSolar” in their underwater excavations in the Argolic Gulf.

Expedition to search for submerged Greek sites
The joint Greek-Swiss mission will again explore the seabed of the Argolic Gulf near 
the Franchthi cave in search of the first prehistoric settlement in Europe
 [Credit: Epikaira]
The underwater excavation is going to take place near the submerged Franchthi cave, where the archaeologists hope to uncover the oldest European settlement dating back to the Palaeolithic and Neolithic eras.

The excavation, which is code-named “TerraSubmersa”, is set to begin on the 1st of August, with the main body of research scheduled to occur between the 18th August and 12th of September.

Scientists on board the “MS Turanor PlanetSolar” will be assisted by the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (ELKETHE) to carry out geophysical surveys in order to accurately document the topography.

Expedition to search for submerged Greek sites
The MS Turanor PlanetSolar, the largest solar catamaran, is to assist archaeologists 
in their underwater excavations in the Argolic Gulf 
[Credit: PlanetSolar]
The Minister of Environment Yannis Maniatis commented that the TerraSubmersa excavations “are a dive into the History of this land” and argued that the Argolida “is the world’s large open archeological site […] where Homo Sapiens took his first prehistoric steps in the Mediterranean”.

If the scientists' theory is correct and leads to a discovery of ancient civilization undersea, this would lead to the suggestion that Greece played a key role in the rise of the Neolithic way of life as it spread from the Middle East to Europe.

According to researchers, the Franchthi cave on the northern shore of Kiladha bay (Argolic Gulf) was occupied for some 35,000 years, from the Palaeolithic to the Neolithic ages.

The TerraSubmersa mission is supported the University of Geneva, the Swiss Archaeological School in Greece, the Hellenic Department of Underwater Antiquities and ELKETHE.

Source: To Vima [June 23, 2014]

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