Video: Ancient Greek Port From City in the Bible Revealed After Earthquake Buried It Under the Mediterranean

The Outer Harbor at Lechaion. K. Xenikakis & S. Gesafidis

Archaeologists have discovered the lost town of Lechaion, the harbor from the ancient Greek city of Corinth, for which the New Testament's 1st Corinthians is named. According to a press release from the University of Copenhagen, archaeologists from the university partnered with the Greek Ministry of Culture's department of underwater antiquities to begin excavating the ruins, some of which are "extremely well-preserved."

An earthquake struck Lechaion some time between 50 and 125 A.D., and the majority of the ruins have since been buried beneath sediment, where divers are now working in what according to the Lechaion Harbor Project is clear and relatively shallow water. "It may well be the first evidence of the earthquake of circa AD 70 under the emperor Vespasian mentioned in ancient literary sources," Guy Sanders, a researcher with The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, who previously directed excavations at Corinth, told The Guardian.

The ancient Romans conquered Corinth in 146 B.C. More than 100 years later, Julius Caesar rebuilt it and named it after himself: Colonia Laus Iulia Corinthiensis, according to the press release.

Caesar was assassinated not long after, but according to the Guardian, his colony at Corinth grew into such a lucrative trading port that it inspired the Greek proverb "not everyone can afford to go to Corinth."

The Lechaion Harbor Project launched in 2013 and the latest excavations took place in October and November this year, according to CNN Greece, which first reported the findings.

"We have excavated archaeological layers where almost everything is preserved," University of Copenhagen archaeologist Bjørn Lovén, co-director of the the Lechaion Harbor Project, said in the statement. "[I]magine how well-preserved wood and other organic materials [are] that still lie at the bottom of this harbor."

Lovén went on to say in the statement that their forthcoming work will include a DNA analysis from the University of Copenhagen's Center for GeoGenetics. The team will identify the features of greatest archaeological importance, extract samples and see to what degree they can reconstruct the genetic environment the site enjoyed in its prime.

"Recently, they have shown that ancient DNA in deposits can identify a wide variety of organisms, everything from bacteria to plants and animals. Hence, they will characterise what lived in the area of Lechaion during the various phases of Antiquity, including the Roman period. We are discovering everything from DNA evidence to monumental moles [piers] constructed of five-ton blocks," Lovén said.

In addition to the massive stone and wood structures, the archaeologists have also already discovered various kinds of seeds, as well as bones and wood that bear signs of being whittled or otherwise cut by the ancient city's residents. The wood artifacts in particular are the "holy grail" for archaeologists, according to the Guardian. Some are so well-preserved they look brand-new.

"I was joking that I would rather find a wooden spoon than a statue," Lovén told the Guardian.