The discoverery of forty-five pre-christian shipwrecks at Beneath the Sea

Imagine it's a sunny warm morning in late summer on the Italian island of Rhodes. You are a young man from Rome, and your family has posted you to your uncle to serve him as a seaman on one of his merchant sailing vessels carrying amphora filled with wine from the island of Rhodes. The year is 100 BC; in 100 years, Christ would be born.

Today, the girls are beautiful, breakfast was good, the boat is ready to sail, and you are ready for your first adventure as a young man alone in the modern Mediterranean world. The boat is laden with amphora, wine containers, filled with wine from Rhodes and ready for sale in Samos

The boat slips away from the Italian shore and makes the crossing of the mouth of the Ionian Sea with ease. The sun comes up every morning, the girls are still pretty, and life is still good.

Your boat makes excellent time slipping between the southern tip of Kos and the island of Kalimnos with no difficulty. Yes, you note the shipping lanes in this bight of water are very crowded, but the weather stays calm, the sea not rough, and the girls remain pretty.

Now the Fates conspire. As you come up on the island of Samos, the skies darken and you feel the first drops of rain blown by a wind that continues to freshen. In an instant the warm rain turns into a white squall, all wind, the rain horizontal, seas confused, wind-driven to six-foot then eight foot waves. There is only one place to hide, the island of Fourni. You turn your back to the wind and rain and watch as the heavily laden boat begins to ship water. Everyone has pots to bail, and they all bail frantically, but the boat continues to founder, then sinks.

Then you are in the water, you need to save yourself! Let's say you do, in time, you meet one of those pretty girls, and today your ancestors have lived on Fourni and Samos for over 2,000 years. It is your children and your grandchildren who have experienced the birth of Christ and everything that has come with it. What happened to the boat on which you were a seaman?

It too is a long time resident of the island, but it is at the bottom of the sea just offshore the island of Fourni, in the northeast corner of the Aegean Sea. For over two thousand years, it has sat there, undisturbed by storm, tide, or the history of man that raged topside. It just sat there and waited for one man.

One afternoon, over two thousand years later, that man came. Dr. George Koutsouflakis would lead a Greek and American dive team into the waters of the Fourni Archipelago to make an amazing discover of 45 ancient shipwrecks all around the island, including many early and ancient Roman shipwrecks.

This year, at the Beneath the Sea weekend, March 24, 25, 26, 2017 Dr. George Koutsouflakis will travel all the way from his native Greece and his fields of discovery to show and tell the Beneath the Sea audience what it is like to discover a world over 2,000 years old. How it feels to recover and preserve such ancient artifacts, learn what it is like to manage a team of diving scholars elated by finding treasure after treasure.

Beneath the Sea March 24, 25, 26, share the excitement, feel the elation of discovery, watch diving be the tool of science and discovery you always knew it was.


Beneath the Sea is handicapped accessible. If you require special aids or services please e-mail us at or call 914.664.4310
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