Achilleas Iasonos - 2019 - Oxford University Scholar

My dream, even before enrolling for the (MA) degree in Maritime Archaeology at University of Southampton in 2016, has been to become an HFF scholar. Four years later my dream has become reality. 

My on-going PhD project Deep-Sea Archaeology in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus intends to demonstrate that it is possible to conduct research, and hence disclose new and unpublished information regarding Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) in the deep seas, by taking advantage of datasets (both geophysical and archaeological) produced by the oil and gas industry and other commercial sector companies. 

For the past two years, the study has been supported and closely monitored by the Department of Antiquities Cyprus (DoAC), to whom I am truly grateful, and has thus far contributed to the development a (geo)database of 1TB. This developing (geo)database includes data on 6 shipwreck sites and more than 300 scatters of materials, of which 3 wrecks (currently unpublished) were discovered during the course of oil and gas explorations. 

With the help of Dr. Despo Pilides of the Department of Antiquities and the academic supervision of Dr Damian Robinson, University of Oxford, we have effectively contributed towards achieving the implementation of the national legislation of Cyprus ‘2014 (amended) Antiquities Law of Cyprus’ Article 18a; ‘Any archaeology in the Continental Shelf and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) either known or unknown, belongs to the government, from now and on’. This is possible because gathering, re-analysing, storing, and following up on datasets for the purpose of this study enables the DoAC to protect the UCH of Cyprus in the deep seas.

I have always been a keen swimmer. I was champion and record holder in the 200m breaststroke in Cyprus in 2008, and I had the privilege of participating in competitions around the world with the National Team of Cyprus. I am a resilient, hard-working and positive person, with the ability to work hard to meet deadlines whilst at the same time working well within teams to overcome obstacles and problems. I am a passionate individual and an expert in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and I understand the essentiality of working to produce and archive data. I enjoy working in any environment, and I have excellent communication skills, enabling me to relate to people regardless of their background, education level, religion, and culture. Fieldwork wise, I have worked in five different countries in Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, and I have developed a good set of archaeological and survey skills both on-land and underwater. I am a keen recreational (rescue) diver with 5 years’ experience and 400 logged dives.