Albania promotes its underwater archaeology, for tourism

An elderly man looks the exhibition by The Albanian National Coastline Agency, in Tirana, on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017 showing underwater finds of potential archaeological significance.Albania is promoting the archaeological finds in the waters off its southwest coast to raise public interest and to attract attention of decision-makers who can help preserve the discoveries. (AP Photo Hektor Pustina)

Albania is promoting the archaeological finds in the waters off its southwest coast to raise public interest and to attract attention of decision-makers who can help preserve the discoveries.

TIRANA, Albania — Albania is promoting the archaeological finds in the waters off its southwest coast to raise public interest and to attract attention of decision-makers who can help preserve the discoveries.

The Albanian National Coastline Agency opened an exhibit Monday of 30 photographs showing underwater finds of potential archaeological significance from the last decade.

The nonprofit RPM Nautical Foundation has mapped about one-third of Albania's coast so far, from Saranda, near Greece's Corfu island, to Vlora. National coastline agency head Auron Tare says the scan found 38 shipwrecks in the Ionian Sea, six of them more than 2,000 year old.

Tare said the ships and other objects "show ancient Illyria (Albania's predecessor) was a commercial pass rather than a pirates' place," Tare said.

He says the archaeological wealth of Albania's 220-mile coastline needs more legal protections and better care to make it a popular tourist destination. The country does not have a scuba diving industry, but that could change if the findings are promoted properly, Tare said.

"We have a lot of such archaeological underwater heritage but, so far, we have not known how to keep, preserve and use them," he said.

The exhibition includes photos of amphorae — two-handled storage pots and jars used for wine or oil in ancient Greece — and other items encrusted with tiny shells.

The wreckage from ships are thought to represent a much longer time period, from the 6th and 5th centuries B.C. and the Austrian-Hungarian Empire during World War I, to British or Italian navy vessels from World War II.

During the communist regime that ruled Albania until 1990, the army's control of the coastline deterred smugglers who might have been tempted to disturb submerged artifacts. Many items since have been stolen.

The nautical archaeology department at the Albanian Institute of Archaeology started collaborating 10 years ago with the RPM Nautical Foundation, which is based in Key West, Florida, to scan the ocean floor and remaining relics.

Neritan Ceka, a veteran archaeologist involved in the maritime discoveries, said the foundation's research vessel discovered "a wealth of untouched finds."

"That great archaeological wealth should be shown to the local population to preserve it and worldwide due to its research importance," Ceka said.

Related News

8,000-year-old female figurine uncovered in central Turkey

Sep 15, 2016

Archaeologists have uncovered a rare stone figurine of a woman dating back 8,000 years at a dig in Turkey's central province of Konya that an expert says is one of only a handful of statuettes from that era ever found in one piece

Powell discusses secret Israeli nukes in leaked 2015 email

Sep 16, 2016

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell discussed Israel's nuclear weapons capability with a friend in a private email exchange last year that hackers leaked this week

Watchdog to probe Comey's, FBI's actions before election

Jan 12, 2017

The Justice Department inspector general has opened an investigation into department and FBI actions before the election, including whether FBI Director James Comey followed established policies in the email investigation of Hillary Clinton

Peaple also read these

North Korean economics 101: How much is a dollar worth?

Feb 6, 2017

To get a feel for how North Korea's economy works, go buy a roll of toilet paper

The Latest: Syria unveils new Hama statue to Assad's father

Feb 13, 2017

The Latest: Syria unveils statue of late President Hafez Assad in Hama, replacing one destroyed by protesters in 2011

Pence used a private email account to conduct state business

Mar 3, 2017

A newspaper is reporting that Vice President Mike Pence used a private email account to conduct public business as Indiana's governor

Broaden News
Latest News

About Us

Science Thread delivers quality and fascinating science and technology content that matters on a daily basis and makes it go viral.