Underwater Archaeological Site of Kaulonia
The archaeological area of the ancient greek city of Kaulon (or rather Kaulonia) lies near Punta Stilo, in the territory of the municipality of Monasterace Marina, along the Ionian coast of the province of Reggio Calabria. It is made up of both the Archaeological Park with a nice little Museum and the Archaeological Underwater Area in the sea section in front of the Park, where it’s possible to dive to see the underwater Archaeological Site of Kaulonia.
Over the centuries, due to a progressive phenomenon of coastal erosion and bradyseism, there has been a profound change in the coastline, which is backward compared to the age of the greek colony. According to recent geo-archaeological studies, it appears that the coastline in front of the Kaulonia city, in the Greek age, was about 300 m further to the east than the present, as well as being characterized by a slightly arched shape.
DIVING INTO THE UNDERWATER ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF KAULON
This wide area, time ago on the surface, is currently in the range of 7.5 m to 5 m deep and is characterized by the presence of many architectural elements, completed or semi-finished. These are pieces of columns (parts of the stem) and bases of grooved ionic columns, squared blocks of various sizes, rough hollow blocks and mooring bits. This important underwater site, made up of more than 200 finds, has been interpreted as an area of work of architectural elements or as a temple under construction, not completed for reasons still unclear. About the columns age, thanks to stylistic comparisons, it is probably set between 480 and 470 B.C.
THE FINDINGS OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK
For conservation purposes, some architectural materials have been recovered and are now in the Museum in Monasterace, in the Underwater Archaeology Section. However, most of them are still underwater, visible not only to scuba divers, but also to those who want to snorkel or to do freediving, thanks to the shallow water of the site.
But the Kaulon’s Underwater Archaeological site is not just a dive into the past… Every ancient architectural element is now surrounded by colorful little fishes, wary small groupers, sea urchins, nudibranchs, octopus, striped red mullets, damselfishes… in a clear and warm water that only the Calabrian Ionian sea can provide!
|Place||Archaeological site of “Kaulon” – Monasterace (RC)|
|Dive type||From the shore or by boat|
|Maximum depth||7,5 m|
|Minimum depth||3 m|
|Bottom type||Sandy with debris (gravel seabed)|
|Dive path||In circle, between columns and architectural elements.|
|Biodiversity||Typical species of sandy and debris seabed: sea urchins, anemones, nudibranchs, groupers, octopus, mullets, damselfishes, etc.|
|Peculiarities||Important underwater archaeological site, made up of over 200 architectural elements of the Greek age (V century B.C.) scattered on the seabed.|