'Underwater Pompeii' Discovered Off Greece

Buildings just 6 feet underwater near island of Delos
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2014 8:31 AM CST
'Underwater Pompeii' Discovered Off Greece
Archaeologists have discovered ruins some are calling an "underwater Pompeii."   (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

It was believed that underwater ruins off the Greek island of Delos were simply ancient docks—but now experts are telling a much more exciting story. They've found what's left of several buildings, including a pottery workshop, at the site just six feet below the surface. The ruins likely date to the first century BC, the Huffington Post reports. They were home to 16 pots and parts of a kiln, as well as what's left of walls and colonnades. Greek media is calling the site an "underwater Pompeii," Discovery reports.

Indeed, "similar workshops have been found in Pompeii and Herculaneum," Greek officials say. It's unclear how the site, which seems to have collapsed, met its underwater fate. Greek myth holds that the island of Delos is where the god Apollo was born, and the area was home to both an Apollo cult and a major slave trade. It declined after many of its inhabitants were slaughtered by attackers in 88 BC, and it was finally abandoned around 500 AD, Discovery notes. The site is central to Greek history, the Independent reports, and the area is subject to continuing excavation. (Click to read about the biggest ancient stone block ever found.)

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