Maritime Archaeology Graduate Symposium (MAGS) - 2023

MAGS 2023 was held at the Archaeological Research Unit (ARU) of the University of Cyprus from Wednesday (01/03/2023) to Saturday (04/03/2023). During the evening of the 1st of March, an informal pizza/movie night for presenters was held at the ARU to offer presenters the opportunity to meet each other and break the ice. We feel that the event was a good experience for the participants as we had very positive feedback.

The first day was dedicated to a full day Symposium with welcoming speeches from the Chairman of the Department of History and Archaeology Dr. Maria Parani, from Dr. Stella Demesticha representing Dr. Athanasios Vionis Director of the Archaeological Research unit, and Dr. Danielle Newman representing the Honor Frost Foundation. The Keynote Speech was delivered by Dr. Anna Demetriou on “Maritime Archaeological Ethnographies: in pursuit of the multi-temporality and multi-vocality of sites”. The program of the first day of the Symposium also included a total of 17 papers subdivided into 3 sessions focusing on: i) Ships, seafaring and trade in antiquity; ii) Material culture studies; and iii) Harbour archaeology. The final event of the first day was a very interesting lecture by Dr. Athena Trakadas (Editor of the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology) on the “Maritime Archaeological Publication Process”. The organising committee believed one of the challenges for each early career researcher was to get into the scientific publication process and succeed to publish their first papers. This lecture was held with the aim to open discussion where participant’s questions and Athena’s experience on the topic shaped the lecture and we believe the aim of this lecture reached its goals according to the positive feedback of the participants.

The second day of the Symposium included a total of 14 papers subdivided into 3 more sessions focusing on: i) Maritime cultural landscapes; ii) Maritime heritage management and preservation; and iii) Public outreach and engagement. The regular sessions were followed by a Workshop to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Mazotos Shipwreck Project, where seven members of the team offered a ‘behind the scenes’ account of their experience and the challenges encountered. The primary objective of the workshop was to provide a comprehensive understanding of the various aspects involved in implementing a large scale shipwreck excavation project. Once again, the feedback was very positive and there was a general appreciation for the effort to provide insights on the project that are not often shared in scientific or popular disseminative material. Following Mazotos workshop and question & answers session, on behalf of the MAGS Steering Committee, Dr. Maria Michael ended the day with the call for proposals to host the next MAGS in 2025.

As it is evident from the MAGS 2023 Program, the 31 papers delivered during the two-days Symposium covered a great variety of sites and topics. There were some exceptionally well-thought and well-presented projects showing the dynamism of the field, particularly, in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

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