Five archaeological shipwrecks from the 3rd Century BC has been found beneath the sea off tiny Levitha Island. The discovery in between Amorgos and Leros includes a huge anchor and amphorae, which are containers used to transport goods such as wine.
The 400kg granite anchor pole dating from the 6th century BC was found 45 meters beneath the waves of the Aegean. As for the amphorae, those were from the islands of Kos and Rhodes, as well as Phoenicia and Carthage, and dated to the 3rd century BC. This was about the time of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, which ended with the deaths of Cleopatra and her son.
The discoveries were made by the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, a department within the Greek culture ministry, which is conducting a three-year research project to identify and document ancient shipwrecks in the area.
The research was conducted from June 15 to 29, 2019, under the direction of archaeologist Dr. Georgios Koutsouflakis. There are other shipwrecks in this part of the Aegean Sea as well. One of these has a cargo of amphorae from Knidos, dating back to the same period, while three other shipwrecks had carried cargoes of Kos amphorae, from the 2nd and 1st centuries BC and 2nd century AD.
Levitha, or “Lebinthus” in ancient Greek, is the easternmost of a cluster of four isolated islands comprising Levitha, Mavria, Glaros and Kinaros, which bridge the sea passage from the Cyclades to the Dodecanese island chains. The island is mentioned in two of Ovid’s works Ars Amatoria and the Metamorphoses in connection with the saga of Daedalus and Icarus.