Ancient Shipwreck Antiquities Found At Mazotos
During the second field excavation of the shipwreck site, the team continued the systematic excavation of a trench first opened in 2010 thought to be the bow of the vessel, said the Ministry of Antiquities.
Amphorae were recovered that originate from the islands of Kos and Chios in the Aegean. Parts of two anchors were also excavated which provide valuable information on the sailing equipment of ancient ships. Of prime importance was the discovery of the keel and part of the wooden hull of the ship, as it proves that a considerable part of the ancient ship is still lying under the main concentration of the amphorae.
Students from the University of Cyprus took part in the project who were trained in ancient sailing on the Kyrenia - Liberty ship in collaboration with the Kyrenia-Chrysocava Foundation. The ship sailed from the Naval Base ‘Evangelos Florakis’ in Mari, where it was moored, to the Mazotos shipwreck area.
Divers and archaeologists from 16 different countries (Cyprus, Greece, Germany, Austria, France, Spain, United Kingdom, Ireland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Ukraine, Australia and USA), enjoyed the unique experience of excavating an ancient ship at the sea bottom and then sailing in a similar one.
Apart from the THETIS Foundation which is the main sponsor of the project, the excavation was supported by the Cyprus Telecommunication Authority, the Bishop of Kykkos and various private companies: Frederick University, Archirodon Construction (Overseas) Co. S.A, Petrolina (Holdings) Public Ltd, Marangos Bakeries Ltd and Andreas Charalambous Ltd. The support of the Ministry of Defense was also very important. The Navy Command, in particular, offered basic equipment and means for the project whereas the Greek Forces of Cyprus kindly provided their complex of buildings at Agios Theodoros to accommodate the team. Very decisive also was the technical support offered by the members of the Maritime Institute of the Eastern Mediterranean and the divers of the Nautilos Search and Rescue Team.
The fieldwork was conducted by the Archaeological Research Unit of University of Cyprus, under the direction of Dr Stella Demesticha, in collaboration with the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus and the THETIS Foundation.
Photos: Kyrenia – Liberty visits the Mazotos Shipwreck site (photo: Cl. Lozano © University of Cyprus) The excavation trench at the bow area of the ancient ship (photo: Α. Neophytou © University of Cyprus)
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