A Turkish diver has proved beyond a doubt that you don't need to venture into the deep to find unexplored wonders – using nothing more than a full-face snorkelling mask, he stumbled on to an Aegean port dating back to the 4th century BC.
Denem Orhun, who lives in New York but was on holiday with his wife's family in the Izmir province, was snorkelling close to the shore just north of the town of Dikili when he noticed what looked like the remains of columns on the seabed.
Exploration of ancient structures runs in the family – his mother had been an archaeologist – and so he investigated further, returning later with a drone to capture aerial images of the site. He saw what he described as a ‘basilica plan', with a central nave flanked by aisles separated by rows of columns.
Denem shared his findings with archaeologists from Celal Bayar University, and then experts from Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism carried out their own year-long research into the location.
Now it has been revealed that the find is the three-section pier of a long-lost port that once served the Greek city-state of Atama, or Atarneus.
The port has now been declared a ‘first degree protected area' by the Izmir Cultural Heritage Preservation Board.
Photo credit: Denem Orhun