The Maritime Archaeological Research Laboratory
University of Cyprus

The Maritime Archaeological Research Laboratory (MARELab) of the University of Cyprus (Department of History and Archaeology) was founded in 2011, aiming to serve as a dynamic venue of educational activities and interdisciplinary research on Maritime Archaeology.

MARELab is the only institution in Cyprus able to conduct underwater archaeological investigations: one survey (Xylophagou Anchorage Project) and two full excavation projects (the Mazotos Shipwreck and the Nissia Shipwreck) are currently ongoing, whereas a reconnaissance survey was carried out in 2013 along the northwest coastal front of Paphos. Parallel to the underwater surveys, two funded research programmes are running: (i) Sailing in Cyprus through the Ages, a digital documentation of the nautical landscape of Cyprus in antiquity, and (ii) KARAVOI, Mapping, Documentation and Digitisation of the Ship Graffiti on the Medieval and post-Medieval Monuments of Cyprus.

In all MARELab projects, on land and underwater, particular emphasis is given to the implementation of digital methods for data recording and mapping. A special team of associates works exclusively on the digitization of archaeological data, the upgrading of the existing software and their optimization in order to meet the needs of archaeological documentation and interpretation. 3D applications have been extensively used both as integral part of the fieldwork documentation and as tools for archaeological interpretation.

The Foundation has awarded a number of grants to MARELab for underwater archaeological research and education, details of these can be found below (details on scholarships awarded with MARELab can be found here);

Mazotos Shipwreck Project

The Mazotos shipwreck is the remains of a commercial ship dated to the late classical period. It was located in the sea area of Mazotos, at 45 metres below sea level. It is the first shipwreck of that period located in the South East Mediterranean carrying Chian amphorae, at a depth where divers can work....

Nissia Shipwreck Project

The Nissia shipwreck has been dated to the Ottoman period and is located in the Nissia area, at the Famagusta cape, 28 metres below sea level. It is the only known shipwreck of that age in Cyprus, and one of the few that are being excavated in the eastern Mediterranean....

Agios Spyridon

MARELab undertook a project to record Agios Spyridon, a 70 year-old wooden caique on Cyprus, one of a few surviving in the eastern Mediterranean. The team recorded and documented this vessel as part of a controlled destruction....

NAS Fieldschools

The first Cyprus Underwater Archaeology Fieldschool 2015 was organised and taught by staff from both the University of Cyprus Maritime Archaeological Research Laboratory (MARELab) and the Nautical Archaeology Society, UK (NAS)....

Mare Cyprium

Click here to find out more about the Mare Cyprium project: Multimedia Applications for Cypriot Maritime Cultural Heritage....


Click here to find out more about the SHARE project - Mapping SHipwreck ARchaeologies in the Eastern Mediterranean: the sites, the people, and the environment....

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