Investigations in Kiladha bay

Recent work has demonstrated that navigation in the Eastern Mediterranean started much earlier than experts have imagined up to now. Indeed, it would appear that man navigated on the seas for the first time more than 100,000 years ago. This discovery would lead us to suggest that Greece played a key role in the rise of the Neolithic way of life (around 7,000 B.C.) as it spread from the Middle East into Europe. Scientists are thus interested in the spread of the Neolithic civilisation in Eu- rope and in finding out how the nomadic, hunter-gatherer camps of the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic eras transformed into the sedentary villages of farmers of the Neolithic age.

Julien Beck, researcher at the Classical Archaeology Unit at the UNIGE and TerraSubmersa scientific leader is fascinated about these questions. «The Franchthi cave on the northern shore of Kiladha bay (Argolic Gulf) was occupied for some 35,000 years, from the Palaeolithic to the Neolithic ages. Such a surprisingly long period of occupation is an exception in Europe. The cave is therefore an ideal target for studying submerged prehistoric landscapes, since there must have been interactions between people there and the sea during these many thousands of years», explains Julien Beck. «Maybe we shall find evidence of the very first European village.»



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