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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mapping the world's oldest submerged town

Image: the now submerged site at Pavlopetri in south-eastern Laconia (source:

"A few metres under the sea, near the town of Neapolis at the southern tip of Greece, lies Pavlopetri. Discovered and mapped in the 1960s, it will become the first underwater town to be digitally surveyed in three dimensions. Nature News caught up with Jon Henderson, an underwater archaeologist at the University of Nottingham, UK, before the project began on 18 May."

What does Pavlopetri look like?

"The site is submerged in about 3–4 metres of water, and covers an area of about 500 square metres, about 50-60 metres offshore."

"There are about 15 buildings made up of three or four rooms, some streets, rock-cut tombs and courtyards — and there could be more underneath, because so far there has been no excavation. Some ruins date from at least 2800 BC, but we think the town Pavlopetri itself dates from the Mycenaean period, about 1600–1100 BC."

"Because it's not on land, it hasn't been interfered with by agriculture, and it hasn't been rebuilt on. It's exactly as it was, although eroded down to floor level. We've still got the threshold stones from doorways and stones for grinding grain, for example."

Are there other submerged towns around the world like it?

"Pavlopetri is the oldest submerged town we know of, although no doubt others will be discovered. The city of Alexandria is the other one that's well-known — but most of the remains there are from the first millennium BC. In the eastern Mediterranean in particular, there are hundreds of submerged sites, because it is one of the earthquake centres of the world and there has been so much land movement."

It has been known about for a while, hasn't it?

It was discovered in 1967 by Nicholas Flemming,

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.