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Greek city beneath the waves

- by Jeremy Guest

Lost Greek city beneath the waves.

Gazing out over the aquamarine sea is a favourite occupation of those on a Greek island holiday.

Now underwater archaeologists have given them a fascinating glimpse of former Greek glories that lie beneath the waves.

Using cutting edge computers, scientists have digitally reconstructed a 'lost' Bronze Age city port that was swallowed up by the waves about 3,000 years ago.

The lost city of 'Pavlopetri' has been fully mapped and recreated in photo-realistic 3D by scientists and computer experts from the UK's University of Nottingham ans is the subject of a BBC Two documentary tonight.

The original name of the city – which covers nearly 20 acres – is lost in time but evidence suggests it was an important port, with 2,000 or so inhabitants in 2,000 BC, and may have had strong trading links with the Minoan civilisation in Crete.

The Minoans, of course, are thought to have been destroyed by a tsunami created by the enormous volcanic eruption of Santorini. It may have been the same tsunami that destroyed Pavlopetri which lies of the off the historic Peloponnese coast of southern Greece.

Survey co-director and marine archaeologist, Jon Henderson, the survey team mapped scores of buildings and even religious shrines and tombs. The entire city lies four metres below the Aegean.

Jon Henderson said: "We found ceramics dating back to the end of the stone age, which suggested that the settlement was occupied some 5,000 years ago"

Shifting sands in the protected bay has protected many of the buildings, courtyards, streets, tombs and religious structures found so far.

City Beneath the Waves: Pavlopetri, will be screened on BBC Two tonight Sunday, 9 October, at 8pm.