Friday, December 08, 2006

Good News for Greece

The United Nations assembly in New York has approved a draft resolution that antiquities be returned to their country of origin. The resolution was put forward by Greece Minister of Culture Giorgos Voulgarakis who said “The illegal trade of antiquities is in the same category as the illegal trade of weapons, narcotics and people. It amounts to a form of organized crime that is directly related to mobsters and money laundering.” This can be seen as a success in Greece's attempt to recover artifacts such as the Parthenon Marbles kept at the British Museum which were stolen by the Earl Of Elgin, Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire (1799-1803).

Dull is the eye that will not weep to see
Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed
By British hands, which it had best behoved
To guard those relics ne'er to be restored.
Curst be the hour when from their isle they roved,
And once again thy hapless bosom gored,
And snatch'd thy shrinking gods to northern climes abhorred!

Lord Byron, "Childe Harold"

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Antikythera Mechanism in the news again

New theories are put forward on the Antikythera Mechanism, but not surprisingly not everyone agrees on its function. The results of recent studies by an Anglo-Greek team published in the journal Nature show it could have been used to predict solar and lunar eclipses. I wonder what Derek Solla Price would say. As for me, (that's the other Derek) I like to believe, like some others, that it could have been used for teaching or navigation. Anyway, click on link for recent article.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Roman wreck thought to be big

The 1st century AD Roman wreck found (referred to in my last blog) is turning out to be even more generous with its information on ancient ships. The ship was carrying as many as 1,500 amphorae containing fish. The fish bones are well preserved and will provide important information on trade. The cargo probably also includes lead, and copper which the Romans mixed with tin to make bronze for a range of things, including plates and jewelry.
But even more importantly, it is estimated that the ship had a capacity of around 400 tons which is twice the size of any roman wreck found up to now, and confirms the thesis held by certain historians and archaeologists (including myself) that ships of a capacity of up to several hundred tons were being built at that time.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Roman wreck yields array of historical 'treasures'

The 1st century Roman shipwreck discovered off the coast of Valencia in Spain in 2000, but not excavated until very recently, is proving to be a maritime archaeologists' 'bijou'. The ship was apparently transporting jars of garum from Spain to Rome when she sunk in a storm. She is relatively well-preserved and lies in only 25 metres allowing easy access and therefore a promising study. We await more details ...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ancient Stone Anchors found off Paphos

Archaeologist from the UK have reported finding a large collection of stone anchors (most likely from the Bronze Age) off the coast of Paphos in Cyprus. The find is of great importance as it is now the largest collection of stone anchors to be found in the same area and could shed light on the role of Paphos in ancient maritime trade, and could also confirm the importance of Palaipaphos' sanctuary to Aphrodite for pilgims from around the Mediterranean. Click on link to read article from the Cyprus Mail.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Black Sea Shipwreck Research Project

The Black Sea Shipwreck Research Project is under way and here is the link that will bring you up to date on our activities. Check it out!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Black Sea Shipwreck Research Project

An interesting project we will be taking part in this year! Here's a link to the Black Sea Shipwreck Research Project 2006.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More on the Antikythera Mechanism

Recent research suggests that the device was in fact used to predict planetary movements.

Ballard to survey off Crete

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"A Nice Reward"

A Greek fisherman nets bronze worth gold. Read article.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Argo is back

I've been busy discovering some of the less well-known archaeological sites (land sites)of Attiki these days and haven't been posting much but then again ...... (censured).... Of course, there's been a personnel change at the Department of Underwater Antiquities which might bring about some other changes - we'll see.
In the meantime the only piece of news is that a group of shipbuilders in Volos are working hard at the moment trying to build the mythical ship 'Argo' used by Jason to go after the Golden Fleece. I'm not quite sure how much of a role science is actually playing in this project but it should be interesting to see the result. Apparently, the ship is being built based on vase and wall paintings.
Click title above for link to CNN article.

Friday, February 03, 2006