Archaeology Magazine

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Corinth’s Ancient Harbor Excavated

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Greece Corinth Lechaion COPENHAGEN, DENMARK—Researchers from Greece’s Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, the University of Copenhagen, and the Danish Institute at Athens are surveying and excavating the harbor at Lechaion, one of Corinth’s two harbor towns. “According to ancient sources, most of the city’s wealth derived from the maritime trade that passed through her two harbors, eventually earning her the nickname ‘Wealthy Corinth,’” archaeologist Bjorn Loven of the University of Copenhagen, and co-director of the Lechaion Harbor Project (LHP), said in a press release. The team has uncovered two monumental piers, a smaller pier, two areas of wooden caissons, a breakwater, and an entrance canal that leads into three inner harbor basins. The wooden caissons, which have never been found before in Greece, have been dated to the middle of the fifth century A.D. It had been thought that the major construction of the harbor facilities were concluded in the Greek and Roman period, but these dates suggest that construction work beyond maintenance and repairs continued into the Byzantine period. The town of Lechaion and its harbor were destroyed by an earthquake in the late sixth or early seventh century A.D. To read more about underwater archaeology, go to "History's 10 Greatest Wrecks..."

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