Discovery Channel Resurrrects the World's Oldest Submerged City
via press release:
CITY BENEATH THE WAVES: PAVLOPETRI Airs on June 2nd at 8 PM ET/PT
Just off the coast of southern Greece, Pavlopetri, the oldest submerged city in the world, is about to break its silence. The first-ever excavation and virtual, digital and computer generated imagery (CGI) reconstruction of this ancient, sunken city in great detail is the subject of CITY BENEATH THE WAVES: PAVLOPETRI, a one-hour special that airs on Discovery Channel June 2 at 8PM ET/PT.
Pavlopetri thrived from approximately 2,800 – 1,000 BC at a time that saw the birth of western civilization during the Bronze Age and into the Mycenaean Age, the period that formed the backdrop for subsequent myths of heroes. A complete city, including streets, buildings, courtyards, and tombs, it has been submerged below the ocean’s surface for more than 3,000 years. Pavlopetri has never reemerged; it was neither built-over nor disrupted by agriculture, and the town layout is exactly as it was thousands of years ago. What happened? Who was living here? What did they do? Why did they leave? Why is it now submerged? Answers to these questions, and more, will be revealed.
For the very first time, an international team uncovers Pavlopetri’s secrets. Through the use of cutting-edge technologies, they map the ancient city using computer generated imagery (CGI), they dramatically raise it from the sea floor to show how Pavlopetri would have appeared at its height, as a thriving and relevant port city. Acoustic and digital maritime survey techniques are used on the site, as is a stereo-photogrammetry robot which recorded the entire city, stone by stone, in photo-realistic 3D.
Underwater archaeologist Dr. Jon Henderson leads the project in collaboration with Dr. Nicholas Flemming, the man who discovered Pavlopetri in 1967, and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. Working alongside the archaeologists is a team from Sydney University that includes American Matthew Johnson-Roberson, and movie visual effects expert Simon Clarke. They digitally recreate Pavlopetri using the brand new archeological data. The team painstakingly searches the ocean floor for thousands of fragments from buildings, trade goods, and everyday tableware to provide valuable clues and a window into the forgotten world and daily lives of those who once called Pavlopetri home.
CITY BENEATH THE WAVES: PALVOPETRI is produced for Discovery Channel by BBC and Gary Hunter is Executive Producer. Susan Winslow serves as Executive Producer for Discovery Channel.