Pavlopetri - Laconia

The 5,000-year-old sunken city in Southern Greece

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In the Peloponnesus region of southern Greece there is a small village called Pavlopetri, where a nearby ancient city dating back 5,000 years resides. However, this is not an ordinary archaeological site – the city can be found about 4 meters underwater and is believed to be the oldest known submerged city in the world.  

The city is incredibly well designed with roads, two storey houses with gardens, temples, a cemetery, and a complex water management system including channels and water pipes.  In the centre of the city, was a square or plaza measuring about 40x20 meters and most of the buildings have been found with up to 12 rooms inside. The design of this city surpasses the design of many cities today.

Sunken City Reconstruction

3D reconstruction image of the sunken city

The city is so old that it existed in the period that the famed ancient Greek epic poem ‘Iliad’ was set in. Research in 2009 revealed that the site extends for about 9 acres and evidence shows that it had been inhabited prior to 2800 BC.

Scientists estimate that the city was sunk in around 1000 BC due to earthquakes that shifted the land. However, despite this and even after 5,000 years, the arrangement of the city is still clearly visible and at least 15 buildings have been found. The city’s arrangement is so clear that the head of the archaeological team, John Henderson of the University of Nottingham, and his team, have been able to create what they believe is an extremely accurate 3D reconstruction of the city, which can be viewed in the videos below.

Reconstruction of sunken city

3D reconstruction image of the sunken city

Historians believe that the ancient city had been a centre for commerce for the Minoan Civilization and the Mycenaean civilization. Scattered all over the place there are large storage containers made from clay, statues, everyday tools and other artefacts. The name of the city is currently unknown as well as its exact role in the ancient world.

The featured image shows the original foundations of the city behind underneath the reconstructed pillars and walls of one of the buildings.

By John Black

Related Links

Mythical Peloponnese


Nottingham University – The Pavlopetri Underwater Archaeology Project

Related Videos


I wonder how many more cities or civilizations we will find under water. With all of our ice ages, water level rising and dropping, land masses shifting and moving, it will not suprise me if more and more are discovered over time. I can't wait to see what we will learn from them, and our past beholds.

They should create a glass dome over the city and make it an underwater museum.

One of the sad facts archeologists have learned is that submerged antiques, once exposed to air, quickly deteriorate

Thanks for all your work. For more info regarding lost and sunken civilisations see

This is beyond incredible! What a dive that would be, particularly since it's pretty shallow water,and you'd be able to stay down for quite awhile to look around. Cynical one that I am, I'm afraid there will be looting, and it will be closed for recreational divers.

There are many cultures and civilizations found in underground so why can't archaeologists find in underwater as much as underground's? Water hides so much secrets.

Cities like these never sank, flood waters from The Flood never receded to the point they were before the flood. I doubt the city was beach front either. Calling them sunk or painting pictures putting them next to bodies of water just try to make it more believable 'without' a flood ever occurring. It's not the only city that didn't make it out. City of Atlantis anyone?

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