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Ancient shipwreck found in the Sea off Protaras Ancient shipwreck found in the Sea off Protaras

Ancient Shipwreck Found in the Sea off Protaras, Cyprus

The Department of Antiquities announced the discovery of an ancient shipwreck in the sea off Protaras, Cyprus.

The site was reported by Spyros Spyrou and Andreas Kritiotis, both volunteer divers of the underwater archaeological research team of the Maritime Archaeological Research Laboratory (MARELab), Archaeological Research Unit, of the University of Cyprus.

The Department of Antiquities acted immediately after the report, in order to secure the necessary funds to cover the cost of the preliminary in situ investigation, as soon as possible.

A team of MARELab archaeologists, students and volunteers, led by Stella Demesticha, associate professor of Maritime Archaeology, are in the area.

The team is working on the documentation and protection of the site, in collaboration with Dimitris Skarlatos, associate professor, Department of Civil Engineering and Geoinformatics, Cyprus University of Technology , and Eleni Loizides, conservator, Department of Antiquities.

The site is a wreck of a Roman ship, loaded with transport amphorae, most probably from Syria and Cilicia. It is the first undisturbed Roman shipwreck ever found in Cyprus, the study of which is expected to shed new light on the breadth and the scale of seaborne trade between Cyprus and the rest of the Roman provinces of the eastern Mediterranean.

This project also marks a milestone for Cypriot archaeology, because it is the first time that an underwater archaeological project is fully funded by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works.