Archaeologists have discovered the remains of massive fortifications, slipways and ship sheds in the Piraeus, the harbour city of Athens.

This port and its facilities played a major role in the defeat of the Persians during the famous Persian wars.

“We have identified, for the first time, the 5th century BC naval bases of Piraeus – the ship-sheds, the slipways and the harbor fortifications,” Bjørn Lovén, director of the Zea Harbor Project, told Haaretz. The discoveries place the naval bases of Piraeus at the historical and archaeological level of importance as the Acropolis and Parthenon, or the Athenian Agora, Lovén adds.

With an additional nine found in Zea Harbor, the underwater excavations have unearthed the remains of 15 ships-sheds from 5th century BCE. Based on pottery and carbon-14 dating from a worked piece of wood found inside the foundations of a colonnade, the team dated the ship-sheds to around 520-480 BCE, or shortly thereafter.

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