The hold of ancient Greece on the contemporary imagination steadfastly remains. But despite the many artworks, novels, and Hollywood blockbusters inspired by the glittering empire, it is still shrouded in mystery and myth. Two recent discoveries, however, offer unprecedented insight into the classical world.
The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project found the world’s oldest intact shipwreck at the bottom of the Black Sea, where it laid undisturbed for over 2,400 years. The ancient Greek trading vessel has only ever been seen in paintings on ancient Greek pottery, like the British Museum’s “Siren Vase.” Produced during the same period, the vase depicts Odysseus tied to the mast of a similar ship as he struggles to resist the Sirens’ song.
And this past October, the archaeologist Elena Korka uncovered the long-lost Trojan city of Tenea, also once considered to be mere legend. In a dig conducted in the small Greek town of Chiliomodi, Korka and her team found a well-preserved, complex network of houses, as well as tombs filled with gold, silver, and other treasures that hint at the very real city’s wealth.
Other significant discoveries on the list included Pompeii, Grand Egyptian Museum and the necropolis of the Mayans in Guatemala.