2004 SEASON: Mt.Athos

PERSIAN WAR SHIPWRECK SURVEY


 

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SUMMARY

The 2004 Season also consisted of a two-week project focused on the area off the Mt. Athos peninsula. The research was conducted on the R/V Aegaeo of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) using its Thetis submersible and Max Rover remote-operated vehicle (ROV).The team examined sidescan sonar targets located during the previous season with a main focus on conducting a comprehensive survey around the southern capes and shorelines of Mt. Athos in order to map all shipwrecks and collections of lost cargoes found in that zone.

The ROV Max Rover covered approximately 150 kilometers of seabed down to 600 meters depth using video imaging and sonar. The Thetis submersible conducted daily dives to examine targets and raise artifacts. Meanwhile, the R/V Aegaeo engaged in detailed bathymetric surveys of the nearshore environs of Mt. Athos. Concurrent with the archaeological search, data concerning the marine geology of the region were collected and analyzed with respect to erosion, sedimentation and ancient shorelines.

The discoveries included two groups of amphoras located by the MaxRover at a depth of nearly 130 meters. Amphoras are two-handled ceramic jars used in antiquity for transporting wine and other commodities. One group consisted of seven amphoras, dating to the Classical period. They were tentatively identified as products of ancient Mende, located northwest of Mt. Athos. After being mapped, one of the jars was raised to the surface by Thetis for identification and analysis by the Greek Department of Underwater Antiquties. The second group of amphoras was dated to the period of the Byzantine Empire and located at a slightly shallower depth.

MAP OF NORTHERN AEGEAN COAST WITH THE ATHOS PENINSULLA HIGHLIGHTED
     
 
   

 
THE R/V AEGAEO
     
THE ROV MAX ROVER
       
THE SUBMERSIBLE THETIS
             
             
                                       

   
                                       

TEAM MEMBERS

The expedition was a collaborative project of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities (EEA), the Canadian Institute in Greece (CIG), and HCMR. The project leaders were Mrs. Katerina Delaporta, Ephor of the EEA, Dr. Shelley Wachsmann of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University, and Mr. Spiros Volonakis of the HCMR (2004). The EEA team comprised Ms. Paraskevi Micha and Mr. Theotokos Theodorou and Mr. Alexis Katsambis. The CIG team included Dr. John Hale, Dr. William Ryan, Dr. Robert Hohlfelder, Dr. Dana Yoerger and Dr. Hanumant Singh, Mr. Dan Davis and Mr. Dante Bartoli. The HCMR team included Cmdr. Spyridon Volonakis (Head of Underwater and Submersible Operations), Dr. Chris Smith (Chief Scientist), Mr. Kostas Katsaros, Mr. Vassilis Stasinos, Mr. Theodoros Fotopoulos, Mr. Nektarios Spyridakis, Mr. Manolis Kallergis and Mr. Dimitris Antzoulis. The R/V Aegaeo was under the command of Captain Theodoros Kanakaris.

 

 

All text and images are property of the Persian Wars Shipwreck Survey Project Team. Please contact Dr. Shelley Wachsmann (swachsmann@tamu.edu) and gain permission prior to use.

2006