Around 1920 local fishermen located archaeological finds, lying on the seabed close to the northern cape of Sapienza (Cape Karsi), opposite the village Methoni.
In 1925 the lawyer/ historian Dionisios Potaris (1860-1932), following fishermen indications, located and recorded the ‘marbles’, in a distance of 50-60 m from the northern shore of Sapienza and in a depth of 6-7 m. He correctly assumed that the pile of marbles was actually a shipwreck transferring antiquities.
The ‘shipwreck of columns’ lies in a depth of 10 m, close to the Cape Spitha. The columns are scattered in an area of 30 m˛ and are 10 m away from the edge of the Cape. Parts of the columns are aligned and situated at the seabed, while other parts are scattered in a wider area around.
34 parts of fragmented, plain, single stone columns were located. Only one of them is intact, having a height of 8 m and diameter of 0.90 m. 28 parts of the columns are concentrated and the remaining 6 are situated at a distance of 60 m from the rest.
The columns are made of reddish granite similar to the column positioned in the Fortress of Methoni. The admiral Francesco Bebo positioned this column in 1493/4 in memory of the recovery of the Fortress by the Venetians. Therefore it is assumed that the ship sunk earlier. This particular type of granite exists only in Egypt and in particular areas of Greece (Xanthi, Kavala and in Mykonos Island).
Studies of the column fragments showed that the columns were part of a building containing 16 columns, which demolished or collapsed.
The ship had these columns as part of the cargo. The fragments of the columns are broken irregularly and they cannot be connected between them. Some of the columns are circular on top as they were used for tying up the ships close to the ‘mole’.
The particular shipwreck site will become the first underwater archaeological site that can be visited.
Dr. Aggeliki G. Simossi, Head of EUA
Stella Argiri, Archaeologist of EUA