Further Investigation of Marine Archaeology Heritage at Akanthou - ongoing
Dr Muge Sevketoglu
The aim of this project is to further define maritime archaeology on the Akanthou coastline and bring artefacts and features under protection through survey and recording. A rapid protection system is now in place through the Akanthou project (Sevketoglu and Hanson, 2017) led by the Centre for Archaeology, Cultural Heritage and Conservation. Research indicates that consistent sea currents between Anatolia and Cyprus has contributed to this coast having a rich surviving 10,000-year-old maritime cultural heritage.
Soyloglu’s 2018 Honor Frost Foundation funded project (The Underwater Cultural Heritage of Akanthou) provided an initial survey leaving several bays to be investigated and a review of observed heritage to be completed. Akanthou coastline requires further urgent investigation and protection given the known threats to heritage, primarily uncontrolled scuba-diving, erosion and development. Erosion was also identified as active in the areas surveyed in 2018, and this requires further recording of archaeology before natural destruction occurs.
Existing and proposed museum space (Akanthou Archeopark) provides settings to exhibit, publicise and educate (awareness raising) with the results on the maritime archaeology of this coast, with local community involvement.
The project will work to build capacity with Cypriot marine archaeologists and develop processes with the existing cultural heritage infrastructure to afford protection and conservation for maritime cultural heritage.
Survey and assessment of the Cypriot northern coastline to protect archaeological sites is required before further development has an impact. Further work at Akanthou will provide a model for expanding such work to other areas along the north coast, demonstrating there is a viable rescue, protection, archiving and conservation system in place.