Underwater archaeological research in Greece – a brief outline






THE ARTICLE includes a brief history of underwater archaeological research in Greece from the 19th century until today. It is based mainly on published data related to the subject and it is not exhaustive. It attempts to include as much information as possible on research missions and the sites investigated, so as to operate as a reference tool for researchers. The records documented cover the period from 1802 (Parthenon’s sculptures recovery) to the mission at the bay of Heraklion, Crete in October 2011.
It consists of four parts:
a] The 19th c. operations –with a section referring to the sculptures occasionally retrieved by fishermen from that period until today in Greece and the Mediterranean Basin–, as well as the first half of the 20th c. missions with surface-supplied diving suits of sponge divers until the discovery of autonomous diving equipment (SCUBA) in 1943.
b] The operations conducted in Greek waters by Greek and foreign archaeologists and researchers from the early 1950s until the establishment of the Hellenic Institute of Marine Antiquities in 1973 and the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture in 1976.
c] The period from 1976 until the end of the 20th c., which includes expeditions and excavations of the Ephorate and the Institute, such as those at the harbours of Thasos, Phalassarna and Samos, the sites of Astakos and Methone, as well as the wrecks of “La Thérèse”, Dokos, Iria, Kythera, etc.
d] The operations of the last decade, when the Ephorate started to cooperate closely with other Greek and foreign institutions, allowing for deep water explorations with the use of cutting edge technology.
At the same time several missions of the Ephorate, the Institute, foreign Archaeological Schools and Universities explore sea areas and front shore sites documenting the ancient remnants of marine activity and submergence mechanisms.

Author Biography


Δρ Αρχαιολόγος
ΕΕΑ – Γραφείο Εναλίων Αρχαιοτήτων Κρήτης



How to Cite

ΘΕΟΔΟΥΛΟΥ Θ. (2012). Underwater archaeological research in Greece – a brief outline. Ariadne, 17, 13–84. https://doi.org/10.26248/ariadne.v17i0.389