Further Investigation of Marine Archaeology Heritage in known ancient harbours of the North Cyprus Coast - ongoing

Dr Muge Sevketoglu


This project will further define threatened marine archaeology on the North Cypriot coastline and test the rapid protection system through the Akanthou project (Sevketoglu and Hanson, 2017) and Centre for Archaeology, Cultural Heritage and Conservation, working with the Antiquities Department and Higher Monuments Commission. The project will further evidence heritage centred around ancient harbours and demonstrate the need for systematic survey for the whole coastline that forms a significant part of the eastern Mediterranean maritime archaeological record. The survey will demonstrate an efficient process is in place that can methodically locate, protect and conserve surviving heritage.

Soyloglu’s 2018 and Sevketoglu’s 2019 Honor Frost Foundation funded projects provided important results, demonstrating effective coordination of cultural heritage infrastructure, capacity building, and successful gathering of intelligence on vulnerable heritage. This resulted, for example, in the protection of a rare Egyptian hieroglyph engraved anchor in 2020. Additional Information has provided more locations requiring survey including possible classical, Bronze Age and Ottoman wreck sites, threats from recreational diving, the public’s removal of artefacts and ancient harbours threatened by marina developments.

Sampling by survey of selected locations utilising the funding from this project will provide the data to assist in fully designing a larger project that will provide viable survey and protection for the underwater and coastal heritage for the whole coast, prioritising survey based on assessed risks. Conservation lab and Museum analysis will demonstrate archive, exhibition, publicity and education results can be achieved, with local community involvement.

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