Greek Archaeologists Make Major Discovery at Battle of Salamis Site



Exquisite head of a statue found in area of the ancient Battle of Salamis. Source: Greek Ministry of Culture

Marine archaeologists are announcing that they have discovered underwater artifacts at the site of a building where the naval battle of Salamis was fought in the Saronic Gulf in 480 B.C.

This major discovery was made during excavation work approximately one year ago in the shallow waters off the coast of Salamis, according to a recent announcement by the Greek Ministry of Culture.

The structure, which was standing in shallow water, is almost 50 feet long and was constructed on a north-south axis. Researchers believe it was a large public building which was used until the late Roman times, in the third century, according to Newsweek.

The researchers said it would likely have been one of the main public buildings of the ancient city, located at its lowest point — in the port area. The team found ceramics, statues, columns or pillars and other features relating to the building, along with marble sculptures.

One of the most spectacular finds was the exquisite head belonging to a statue of an athlete or god, which the ministry said appeared to be from the fourth century B.C.

Researchers used a new technique in which a barrier like a flexible cofferdam was constructed, allowing them to drain the area being excavated, get a better view of the site and to take samples of the sediments. This helped them date the building and reconstruct the surrounding geography of the region from 2,500 years ago, Tornos News reported.

The Battle of Salamis ranks as one of the greatest and most significant in antiquity, as a Greek fleet of warships destroyed a fleet from Persia, sparing Europe from invasion from the East.