Anna Demetriou - 2021-2023 University of Cyprus Post Doctoral Fellowship

From the 1960s onwards, significant advances have been achieved in the theories and methodologies applied in the research and management of ancient shipwrecks, the most commonly and thoroughly investigated type of underwater archaeological remains. Their characteristics as archaeological source material, as well as the conditions under which the field developed, defined a unique path for shipwreck archaeological practice. The study of the intellectual, institutional, and professional structures of the field provides an understanding of archaeological practice. It is also conducive to a critical approach of previous work and, therefore, contribute to future research and management (Murray 2002, Moshenska 2013). SHARE project aims to identify and analyse the afore mentioned structures of shipwreck archaeological practice in the wider eastern Mediterranean (i.e. the Levantine Sea and the 2 Aegean); an area where the particular socio-political conditions prevailing provided a common ground for the practice of archaeology. To that end, the focus lies on the documentation of the different aspects of the ancient shipwrecks located in the area, dating from prehistory up to the 19th century AD. This documentation will serve as the tool to draw conclusions about the current state of the discipline and stimulate critical discussions about the position of maritime archaeology in world of archaeology (Demesticha and Blue 2021). For a comprehensive understanding of the matter, a database will be developed that will include information about the sites located in the region. Aspiring to achieve a holistic approach, the documentation will develop around three distinct but inter-related aspects of sites: (a) The archaeological context: The environment of their deposition, and the material preserved. (b) The intellectual context: The various archaeological traditions and tendencies employed in their research and management. (c) The social context: Information about the people that interacted with the site, either from the professional, avocational or non-professional sphere. The material collected will be published in an open-access database, which will contain (1) a map, (2) detailed information of the shipwrecks documented. In this way, “SHARE” aspires to contribute to the comprehensive understanding of the development of shipwreck archaeology in the region and to provide the necessary tools that will facilitate future research and management planning of ancient shipwreck sites in the area.