Field Work, Research and Publication
Explore the exciting results of our expeditions in Montenegro, Albania, Sicily, Croatia and Tunisia.
Honor Frost Foundation
The HFF grant will assist for a second year in bringing cutting edge technology to the Battle of the Egadi Islands Archaeological site to record the artefacts and the site in unprecedented three-dimensional digital detail. This grant project was inspired by Honor Frost’s pioneering research and intends to build on her legacy by establishing new benchmarks in underwater archaeological survey and analysis, as well as well developing new ways of visualizing submerged sites and presenting them to the public.
An exciting expedition commences in 2015 in the eastern Aegean in the small islands near the Turkish coast. This project along one of the most actively sailed coasts in the ancient world is a joint project between the Ephorate of Underwater Archaeology, represented by Dr Ageliki Simosi, co-Directed by Dr. George Koutsouflakis as well as Peter Campbell and Dr. Jeff Royal of RPMNF. This first field season will investigate a small area and assess the potential for future seasons.
Sicily is one of RPMNF's longest running project areas; with discoveries ranging from merchant vessels to an unprecedented number of ancient warship rams. With the discovery of the site for the Battle of the Egadi Islands (241 BCE), the first ancient naval battle landscape has been identified and is under archaeological study. The information derived from this discovery is re-writing our understanding of warship construction, battle tactics, and the history of the First Punic War. Publications by Co-Directors Dr. Sebastiano Tusa and Dr. Jeffrey Royal in 2012 and 2015 summarize the finds.
ECU Student Participation
As a result of the association between the Maritime Studies Program at ECU and RPMNF, several students will join expeditions in the Mediterranean this summer. Projects work will provide thesis topics for the students as well as practical field experience. Students will participate in the field projects with an emphasis on field recording, methodology of deep water survey and artifact analysis.
Beginning in 2011, a partnership between Maritime Training & Competence Solutions Ltd. of the UK and RPMNF has provided newly-trained ROV pilots the opportunity to receive on-the-job training. Donating their services to RPMNF has allowed us to continue our project work throughout the Mediterranean.
During the 2014 field season at the Battle of the Egadi Islands Archaeological Site, additional cargo items, armor, and another warship ram were discovered. The Egadi 10 ram, the ninth found in situ was raised and is now undergoing conservation. During the 2015 field season work will include the recovery of the Egadi 9 ram and AUV mapping by the ARROWS team from the University of Florence under the direction of Dr. Benedetto Allotta. The mapping of the large battle site will continue and other artifacts such as helmets and amphoras will be raised.
ICEP Field School
Under the initiation of Derek Smith (PhD candidate, University of Washington) and Peter Campbell (PhD candidate, Southampton University), this field school is proceeding with great excitement this summer. Participating organizations include Transylvania University (represented by Dr. Chris Begley), the International Center for Underwater Archaeology in Zadar, the Center for Conservation and Archaeology of Montenegro - Cetinje, and RPMNF. Students from a wide variety of areas will participate in archaeological and biological study.
Since 2010, this survey of an important stretch of coastline in the eastern Adriatic, part of the Illyrian Coastal Exploration Program, has proved highly rewarding. Results from previous years include numerous ancient wrecksites that are expanding our knowledge of maritime trade in this region. Wrecksites in off-shore, deeper waters are providing important new data for archaeological investigation.
An exciting program of work began in 2012 with the Croatian Coastal Survey Project, a joint research project between the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Zadar, directed by Dr. Luka Bekic, and RPMNF. In 2014 two ancient shipwrecks were found as well as numerous later sites. The 2015 field season continues this productive research along the eastern Adriatic shores.
With the completion of eight field seasons (in operation since 2007), RPMNF, in conjunction Albanian Ministry of Culture has made significant progress in surveying this previously unexplored coastline. The latest information and work from past seasons can be found on the Albania project page.
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