The Pavlopetri Underwater Archaeology Project

Excavation 2011-2013

Informed by the results of the 2009 and 2010 survey seasons, underwater excavation are planned at Pavlopetri to run over three annual seasons (2011-2013). It is envisaged that the investigation of the site’s stratigraphy, the establishment of a pottery sequence and the systematic study of the architectural remains will provide 

valuable information on Early, Middle and Late Bronze Age Greece, and will clarify issues on the transitional nature of these phases as well as highlight potential trans-Aegean connections through time.

The first excavation season has just been completed and ran from 2nd to the 22nd June 2011. In-situ deposits relating to structural remains were identified. On the basis of the finds these deposits appear to date to the Neopalatial period (c.1700-1425 BC) and demonstrate that the people of Pavlopetri had close trading contacts with the palaces of Minoan Crete. Detailed study of the finds over the coming months will further clarify this relationship and the function of Pavlopetri as a Bronze Age trading centre.

In addition to the excavation work the whole site was surveyed in three-dimensions using a stereo-photogrammetric Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) deployed by the Australian Centre for Field Robotics. The team now have a full photo-realistic record of the site and are now stitching the data together to build a complete three dimensional model of the submerged city. This data is also being used in collaboration with the BBC to create reconstructions of the site for the forthcoming BBC/Discovery Channel documentary.

Underwater excavations in situ
Underwater excavations in 2011
Deploying the AUV
Dr Oscar Pizarro about to deploy the AUV over the remains at Pavlopetri

Oceanographic work was also carried out in identifying and sampling bands of beachrock along the coast. There appear to be three distinct bands relating to old shorelines. Samples from each band have been submitted for radiocarbon dating and it is hoped these dates will reveal the sequence of submergence of Pavlopetri.



Pavlopetri - City Beneath the Waves - 'Rebuilt'


Underwater Archaeology Research Centre

Department of Archaeology
University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: 0044-1159514842
fax: 0044-1159514842