An underwater archaeology expedition coordinated by Unesco and involving consultants from eight nations has launched within the Skerki Financial institution sea space between Sicily and Tunisia. A dozen marine archaeologists are presently scouring the ocean mattress—as soon as one of many busiest maritime routes on this planet—looking for shipwrecks relationship from antiquity to World Battle II. On 22 August, Unesco’s director basic Audrey Azoulay tweeted: “An underwater mission coordinated by Unesco goes looking for archaeological treasures off Tunisia and Italy.”
The expedition started on 24 August when the Alfred Merlin archaeological analysis vessel left Trapani in Italy. The boat is exploring the Tunisian continental shelf till 3 September and is because of dock in Bizerte following its preliminary voyage across the shoreline of Sicily. When the Alfred Merlin was launched early final 12 months by the French division for marine archaeological analysis (Drassm), the state-of-the-art ship was described as a gamechanger.
“This mission constitutes an necessary step in a cooperation mission that began already in 2018 when eight nations—Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, France, Italy, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia—determined to guard collectively what they imagine to be shared underwater cultural heritage within the Mediterranean. All eight are nations which have ratified the 2001 Unesco conference on defending underwater cultural heritage,” Alison Faynot, who’s coordinating the mission on behalf of Unesco, informed the Al-Monitor web site.
Unesco officers have highlighted “the distinctive archaeological potential of the Skerki Banks” including that between 1988 and 1997, a number of US operations explored an unlimited space within the Strait of Sicily. “These expeditions had been among the many very first large-scale operations in deep-sea archaeology and made it doable to find a minimum of eight extraordinarily well-preserved wrecks from varied intervals,” they add in an announcement. These embody the wreck of the Athenian, a British Royal Navy ship from the early nineteenth century. Michel L’Hour, the mission’s French consultant, informed the Franceinfo web site that the “thought is to attempt to draw up a list of the wrecks”.