Underwater Greek city brought to life

Oct. 10, 2011 at 8:03 PM
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NOTTINGHAM, England, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Computer technology is being used to digitally recreate a submerged ancient Greek city from the era portrayed in Homer's Iliad, British researchers say.

Combining underwater survey equipment with reconstruction software, scientists have created a photo-realistic 3-D version of a Bronze Age port that sank into the sea 3,000 years ago, The Independent reported.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham said they surveyed the 20-acre site in ultra-high definition, with error margins of about 1 inch.

The original name and political affiliation of the site is a mystery, scientists say, but the evidence suggests that it flourished between 2000 and 1100 B.C. and may have been connected with the Minoan Civilization on the island of Crete 80 miles to the south across the Mediterranean.

An earthquake in the first millennium B.C. is thought to have lowered the land and pulled the city under the sea.

"Surveying the city has been a unique operation," Jon Henderson of Nottingham's Underwater Archaeology Research Center said.

Buildings, including religious shrines and tombs, along with half a dozen major streets, have been surveyed so far, he said.

"It's one of the few places on earth where, as a marine archaeologist, you can quite literally swim along a drowned street of an ancient city or look inside a submerged tomb."

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