2006 SEASON: The Magnesian Coast &
the Southern Artemision Channel

PERSIAN WAR SHIPWRECK SURVEY


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The fourth (2006) cruise examined the Magnesian coast and the southern side of the Artemision Channel.

Along the Magnesian coast the expedition collected sidescan sonar targets and acoustic profile data.  Our scans covered a linear distance of over 200km and we examined some 75 sidescan anomalies with the Max Rover ROV, while we employed the Thetis to survey regions closer to shore and around rocky headlands

We visually inspected the coast from modern Cape Sepias north to the plain that divides the massif of Mt. Pelion from that of Mt. Ossa.  In this area we searched for remains of Xerxes’ ships destroyed by a nor’easter that lasted three days while the fleet anchored between its base at Therma (modern Thessaloniki) and its stations at Aphetae, opposite the Greek fleet arrayed at Aretemision.

We hoped that the survey of the southern side of the Artemision Channel would not have to contend with deep sediments as this area has yielded some of the most spectacular antiquities recovered from the sea.

In the 1920s the famous Artemision bronze statues of the striding god (Zeus or Poseidon), the racehorse and the jockey came from a shipwreck site about 500m offshore from Pevki Bay—the ancient station of the Greek war fleet at Artemision in August, 480 B.C.

One Thetis dive discovered a cluster of some 20 amphoras at the southeastern end of the Artemision channel, strongly suggesting the presence of a shipwreck.

The 2006 fieldwork season concludes the Persian War Shipwreck Survey.  In previous years we surveyed the coastlines of the Athos peninsula, the northern shores (Magnesia) of the Artemision Channel and the southeastern coast of Euboea, which is generally identified with the ‘Hollows of Euboea.”  Thus, the Survey has examined—albeit small—portions of all the locations in which Herodotus places fleet losses, with the notable exception of Salamis.  Unfortunately, the Salaminian channel is unavailable for research as it has served as Athens sewage dumping ground for decades and because it remains a particularly active waterway.

 
THE MAGNESIAN COAST &
THE ARTEMISION CHANNEL
         
                   
           
                   
 
     
     
THE SUBMERSIBLE THETIS
     
THE STERN OF THE R/V AEGAEO
         
RAISING AN AMPHORA
           
                         
 
 

TEAM MEMBERS

The expedition represented a collaboration of the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities (EEA), the Canadian Institute in Greece (CIG), and the HCMR. The project leaders were Ms. Katerina Dellaporta, Ephor of the EEA, Dr. Shelley Wachsmann of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) at Texas A&M University (TAMU) and Dr. Dimitris Sakellariou (Chief Scientist) of the HCMR. The EEA team included Mr. George Koutsouflakis and Mr. Dionysis Evagelistis. The CIG team included Dr. John Hale, Dr. Robert L. Hohlfelder, Dr. Dana Yoerger and Mr. Dan Davis. The HCMR team included Cmdr. Spyridon Volonakis (Head of Underwater and Submersible Operations), Dr. Chris Smith, Dr. Grigoris Rousakis, Mr. Kostas Katsaros, Mr. Vassilis Stasinos, Mr. Angelos Mallios, Mr. Theodoros Fotopoulos, Mr. Manolis Kallergis, Mr. Ioannis Pampidis and Mr. Prokopis Mantopoulos.  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.

2007