Pavlopetri Islet

COUNTY: Laconia MUNICIPALITY: Elafonisos

An uninhabited islet in the Argolic gulf between the mainland of Laconia and Elafonisos island. Pavlopetri was inhabited since the Antiquity, but it was part of the mainland Pausanias, the Roman traveler, called “Onos Gnathos” (the jaw of the donkey) which included today’s Elafonisos island. It is speculated that a part of the mainland sank after the strong earthquakes occurred in the 4th century BC or 11th century BC, thus creating Elafonisos and Pavlopetri islands. An intense seismic activity might have moved the seabed and the coastal parts of the mainland, according to scientists, thus submerging a large part of the peninsula described by Pausanias. This submerged ancient city was discovered just a few meters under water in Pavlopetri with numerous ruins of ancient buildings preserved, thus allowing further study by the scholars.

So, the findings pulled out of the water are dated circa 2800 BC (Bronze Era), long before Pausanias, led the archeologists to conclude that the city was a trading post and a major artisan center of that time. It is the most ancient submerged city in the world represented in 3D due to the pristine condition of its ruins. Once the underwater research has finished, Pavlopetri will be a unique destination for divers.