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DIGITAL UNDERWATER TECHNOLOGIES IN THE METHONI BAY CULTURAL HERITAGE PROJECT, GREECE: INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACHES AND SUSTAINABILITY

By November 7, 2022Vol. 9.1

by Levy, T.E., Papatheodorou, G., Geraga, M., Christodoulou, D., Georgiou, N., Kordella, S., Gkionis, P., Spondylis, I., Michalis, M., Dimas, X., Tsoulakou, M., Kylafi, M., Vouvalidis, K., Tamberino, A., Clark, L., Reece, J., Cantu, K., Walsh, R., McDonald, C. and Shtienberg, G.

ABSTRACT

Submerged cultural heritage provides a unique opportunity to couple paleoenvironmental and culture-his-torical research with the contemporary cultural heritage needs of the public where field work takes place. Greece provides an ideal locale for developing what we refer to as maritime cultural heritage asset districts (MCHAD). Here we summarize two seasons (2019, 2021) of field survey work in the Methoni Bay region of Messenia off the southwestern Peloponnesus coast that provides an ideal locale for developing a MCHAD. A number of interdisciplinary survey tools were used to examine cultural and adaptive responses to environ-mental and cultural change in deep-time around the Methoni Bay with the aim of enhancing cultural heritage tourism in the area. Our project builds on earlier paleogeography and submerged heritage research by con-ducting: 1) non-invasive high definition shallow marine geophysics including Multibeam Echosounder, Side Scan Sonar, and Chirp sub-bottom profiler; 2) photogrammetry of several previously investigated shipwrecks and a unique submerged Middle Bronze Age/Middle Helladic (MH) settlement (2050/2000 – 1750/1680 BCE) using a three camera custom rig mounted on a scuba scooter for large area coverage; 3) shallow submerged sediment sampling using scuba and diver operated coring device to study the deep-time environmental his-tory of the Methoni embayment and preliminary terrestrial coring using a Cobra percussion core drilling sys-tem; and 4) a cyber-archaeology workflow using photogrammetry and 3D laser desktop scanning tools to collaborate with a local museum to curate and disseminate research for the public. This article provides an overview of the project methods and preliminary results for melding scientific research with cultural heritage objectives.

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