GoldSilverBitcoin – In many shipwrecks, gold is among the items found on-board a fallen vessel. For goldbugs, that is what makes a recent shipwreck discovery in Greece so intriguing.
A joint Greek-American archaeological expedition in the small Fourni archipelago, an area of merely 17 square miles, has turned up one of the great archaeological finds of 2015, according to Discovery.
Fourni is located in the middle of major east-west crossing route, and also the north-south route which once connected the Aegean to the Levant. When traveling from the Greek mainland to Asia minor, ships en route to the Levant from Aegan passed by Fourni. This expedition was the first organized to the islands.
“In a typical survey we locate four or five shipwrecks per season in the best cases,” Greek director George Koutsouflakis said.”We expected a successful season, but no one was prepared for this. Shipwrecks were found literally everywhere.”
More than half the wrecks date to the Late Roman Period (circa 300-600 AD). The shipwrecks date overall from the Archaic Period (700-480 BC) to the Classical (480-323 BC) and the Hellenistic (323-31 BC) through the Late Medieval Period (16th century).
“What is astonishing is not only the number of the shipwrecks but also the diversity of the cargoes, some of which have been found for the first time,” Koutsouflakis said.
The cargoes reveal long distance trades spanning from the Black Sea, Aegan Sea, Cyprus, the Levant and Egypt in all those periods. Three ships carried cargo including amphoras, or jars, that have never been found in other shipwrecks.
With so many wrecks, its hard to believe one of the most important commodities in the history mankind – gold – was not found on the ships. This might be a story the gold community would like to keep their eye on as it is quite likely some stories will pop up regarding, if not gold coins, silver coins on those ships. During the Late Roman Period, when most of the ships found sailed for their last time, gold was a popular commodity and had been a currency in that Empire – and others – for centuries.