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Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Images Classical Shipwreck

Photonics Spectra
Mar 2006
Scientists at MIT, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research have released photographs of the remnants of a Greek merchant ship that sank in the Aegean Sea more than 2300 years ago. The work, which involved the institute’s SeaBed autonomous underwater vehicle, demonstrates the potential of new technologies for use in deep-water archaeology.

Over four imaging runs on July 7 and 8, 2005, SeaBed collected 7650 images of the wreck using its onboard camera. The images reveal approximately 400 ceramic amphorae on the seabed 60 m below the surface that likely contained wine and olive oil from the islands of Chios and Samos.

The group is completing reports on the findings for submission to various journals. Such studies enable archaeologists to better understand the relations between ancient peoples by tracing their trade flows.

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