Ancient Roman Amphorae Found in Cyprus - 03/12/2019

The Cyprus Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works has announced the completion of the 2019 underwater archaeological mission at the Akrotiri-Dreamer’s Bay ancient port, in the Limassol District (Cyprus). Around 800 Roman amphorae dating to the end of the 6th or the 7th century AD have been found scattered over an area of approximately 130,000 sqm. This discovery has also confirmed the shipwreck of a substantial vessel for that period, the international edition of Tornos News reports.

The survey was carried out by staff from the University of Southampton, Centre for Maritime Archaeology, as part of the Ancient Akrotiri Project, an ongoing collaborative research project on the peninsula conducted since 2015 and led by the University of Leicester.

Ancient Breakwater

Between 8 and 19 September 2019, the second season of the underwater investigation was conducted at Dreamer’s Bay on the southern shores of the Akrotiri Peninsula, Cyprus. A team of professional diving maritime archaeologists, students of maritime archaeology, divers, surveyors, photographers, and terrestrial archaeologists predominantly from Cyprus and the UK, further investigated the ancient breakwater and the surrounding seafloor in Dreamer’s Bay.

Unlike the previous year that documented the remains of the ancient breakwater submerged some 1-4m beneath the water, the primary focus of the 2019 season was to complete a broader survey of the entire bay and the offshore approaches, and in particular to investigate an area to the east of the breakwater where a large amount of pottery was located in the previous season. The team suspected that this dispersed and concreted concentration of largely homogenous amphorae was the remains of a shipwreck.

The 2019 season focused on three main tasks: further investigation of the ancient breakwater; completion of the survey of Dreamer’s Bay, its approaches, and the area offshore of the buildings excavated by the University of Leicester team on the coast to the west of the bay; and further analysis of the ceramic concentration to the east of the breakwater in order to determine its nature.

Photo caption: the most important result of the 2019 season was confirmation that the eastern concentration of largely homogenous ceramics located on an elevated, rocky outcrop to the east of the breakwater and the sheltered channel, was indeed a shipwreck (courtesy Cyprus Department of Antiquities).

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Last updated: 10/12/2019