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
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
(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.