If you ask Greeks what do they know about Pavlopetri, they will probably look at you in amazement. Pavlopetri is the oldest submerged city in the world and only in 2011 became known to the world when BBC visited this place and using specialist laser scanning techniques on location accurately recreated three-dimensional models of artefacts!
In 1904 the geologist Fokion Negri reported an ancient city in the seabed between the island Elafonisos and beach Punta in southern Laconia.
Later, in 1967, oceanographer Dr Nicholas Flemming, University of Southampton, visited the underwater city and found the existence of an ancient submerged city in a depth of 3 – 4 meters!
In 1968 Dr Nicholas Flemming returned to Pavlopetri with a group of young archaeologists from the University of Cambridge and in collaboration with professor Angelos Delivorrias, they mapped and dated the sunken city.
They discovered a rare prehistoric residential town with many buildings, streets and even squares! Based on the findings, the team of the University of Cambridge announced that the Pavlopetri firstly inhabited in 2800 BC, while the buildings and streets dating from the Mycenaean period (1680-1180 BC)!!!
In 2007 Dr Jon Henderson and Dr Chryssanthi Frenchman from the University of Nottingham visited Pavlopetri and in collaboration with the Director of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities Ilias Spondilis undertook a research program for further archaeological investigations Pavlopetri.
The project had a duration of five years (2009-2013), and it aimed to shed light on research questions concerning the dating and character of the submerged village in Elaphonisos and the role of the town in the control of the Laconian Gulf.
So, if you are interested in underwater archaeology, this is the ideal place, as the architectural remains of this sunken city are visible at a depth of about three meters!
Pavlopetri is in Lakonia, in Peloponnese, which is 4 hours drive from Athens or 2.5 hours from Kalamata International Airport.
Pavlopetri is a fantastic finding, and there is a beautiful documentary by BBC, which will reveal you a spectacular view of an unknown world and civilisation 5000 years ago!