Suburban life, 5,000 years ago
Located just a few metres below water in southern Greece’s Peloponnese region, Pavlopetri is believed to be the world’s oldest submerged city. It thrived for about 2,000 years before being sunk around 1,000 BC.
“We are just beginning to appreciate the implications that 30,000 to 5,000 years ago, sea levels were much lower than today. Vast swathes of the global coastline – the important areas where people lived and settled to exploit as wide a variety of resources as possible – are now underwater,” said Henderson, the project lead on the BBC’s 2011 documentary about the site, which recreated the city using digital mapping and CGI.
What’s especially remarkable about this Bronze Age port city, however, is how well designed it is. Unlike many other sunken structures, there’s no doubt as to whether Pavlopetri is manmade or not. There’s evidence of roads and detached two-storey houses alongside courtyards and gardens – as well as a complex water management system. Searching for lost civilisations is “a fundamental part of finding out where we came from as a species”, Henderson said. But it seems that for all our technological advances, there might not be much difference between the first European civilisations and suburban life today. (Credit: BBC)