Underwater Excavation – Mentor Shipwreck

August 8th, 2011
Another project some of the team participated in was an underwater excavation of the Mentor shipwreck, off Avlemonas in Kythera.

An official Ministry press release is here.

Will share lots more photos and video once I have permission from the Ministry.

Below is a rough translation via Google Translate…


Between 6 to July 15 conducted by team of Department of Underwater Antiquities, under the direction of archaeologist Dr. dive. Rep. Kourkoumelis, underwater archaeological excavations in historic shipwreck “Mentor” in the southeast near Kythira Avlemona. Research funded and assisted the Australian Institute «Kytherian Research Group».
The ship, which carried a known sculptures of the Parthenon to England via Malta sank at the entrance of the port of Avlemona southwest Kythera, in September 1802.
Earlier investigations had been on that ship so by Captain Cousteau (1975), the Institute of Underwater Archaeology (1980) and the Department of Underwater Antiquities (2009) and none of them nor in this year identified fragments of marble or sculpture.
This year’s survey focused on area of the stern, where in 2009, were identified among the ballast stones probably of the ship, several findings, such as fossil fish slate, which has since been presumed to be derived from the load. Even cleaned out a portion of the shell of the ship, which had already been identified by the survey of 1980, and found preserved in fairly good condition.
From the area surveyed, anelkysthikan several objects from those that used the 10/meles crew, as different types of cookware, glass, ceramic or porcelain, bottles, decorative items, which were apparently at the officers’ accommodation, coins of the period, but two weapons like pistols, the decoration of a butt shot was fired, bullets of different calibers three, stone lighters for arms, a small cannon shell, and navigation equipment, a small compass hand with gold chain and a compass on board.
An important fact is to find at least two ancient silver coins and a bronze, between the ballast stones.
The results research are particularly interesting and encouraging, both because this is sinking in a very embarrassing moment of the ongoing adventure of the Parthenon, and the fact that remains, recovered from the wreck are indicators of welfare of seafarers merchant ships in a turbulent historical period of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Continued research may yield new information on the ship itself and the adventures of the Parthenon marbles.

The project was by the Ephorate of Underwater of Antiquities in Greece, with assistance from the Kytherian Research Group (KRG) from Australia.

Major supporters were the Nicholas Anthony Aroney Trust and Kytherian Association of Australia. The project couldn’t have taken place without financial support from both these organisations.

Part of the hull of the ship revealed after the underwater excavation

Collection of artifacts from the site of the stern of the ship

Pistol encrusted with rock and broken bottles.



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Underwater Kythera

A few photos from in the sea caves at Paleopolis are here.

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Episode 2 – Video Diaries, Web TV Series

Episode 2 of the Video Diaries is now available here.





More information about what an Aryballos is, can be found here

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July 2011 Wrap

Excavations have come to a close for 2011, after an extremely successful month in July. Archaeological results were excellent, with three sections of the ancient capital of Kythera being excavated.

Hundreds of people came for tours, and public presentations took place across the island by world-leading experts on Kythera.

Archaeologists Aris Tsaravopoulos and Geli Fragou deserve huge thanks, because without them the project wouldn’t have taken place.

The Nicholas Anthony Aroney Trust and Kytherian Association of Australia played major roles, especially regarding financial support for food and transport.

The Archdiocese of Kythera assisted greatly, particularly Bishop Seraphim, generously providing accommodation at the Agia Moni monastery for archaeologists and permanent volunteers. It was great to see Agia Moni come to life with young people staying there in July.

Archaeologists Vangelis Kroustalis, Panagiotis Riganas, and Cosmos Coroneos deserve huge thanks. Dr Crysanthe Gallou, Dr. Mercourios Georgiadis and Dr. Amelia R. Brown were very supportive as well.

Permanent and casual volunteers helped make a great difference, and for that Kytherians and Philokytherians around the world thank you.

Local businesses such as the bakeries of Karavas, Potamos and Karvounades also assisted, which is deeply appreciated.

Even though digging has concluded for this year, key members of the team will be active in studying artefacts and report writing, meaning that there will be a continuous stream of content added to this site.

Lots of photos and videos will be uploaded as well.

So keep coming back!

Warm regards,

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First Instalment – Video Diaries, Web TV Series

The first instalment of the Video Diaries has been uploaded. More will be added shortly.

Greek Archaeologist Gely Fragou explains what’s going on in Trench B, a building thought to have been positioned in the Agora (or commercial section) of the 2500-year old citadel located at Paliokastro in Kythera.

The video is available here.

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Second Minoan Peak Sanctuary in Kythera?

It was great to have a lot of local people attend. Being open will help gradually change opinions regarding archaeology.

Dr. Mercourios Georgiadis explained theories about a second Minoan (mountain) Peak Sanctuary at Leska on the Mermygkari mountain, based on a rescue excavation that took place this month.
The public presentation in Mylopotamos was really well received.
More information is here.

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Living History

We teamed up with Kythera’s Metropoliti to conduct an annual service in Agios Kosmas on Saturday, which in a way created living history, a service very similar to when the 720 year old church was constructed.
More information is here.

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Reawakening Agios Yioryios Paliokastro & Better Access to a (Probable) Temple to Aphrodite

Several different generations of Kytherians and Phillokytherians got to experience this special event

Opening up a path to Agios Yioryios now provides better access to the church and the probable location of a temple to Aphrodite.
More information is here.

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World Class Lineup in Avlemonas

Professor Emilia Banou and Professor Ioannis Petrohilos are international experts on Kytherian archaeology. Having them both speak in Avlemonas last night was a real privilege. Highlights are here.

Tags: http://www.staying-awake.org, http://www.whyhcg.com, http://www.myprovigil.com

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Reawakening Profitis Elias

Some photos from yesterday’s special event are available here.

A number of volunteers from the archaeological team, plus those associated with KIPA’s path project made such a moving event possible.

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Progressing Quite Nicely

A coin possibly featuring the Dioscouri, Castor and Pollux

A brief update of progress over the last few days.

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Making the Impossible, Possible

This is walk before path cutting began, when 10 of us did a reconnaissance hike.

Our team is cutting a path up the side of a mountain, reopening access to what’s probably the most difficult church to reach in Kythera.
Read about it here.

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Let the Adventure Begin!

Here's the first trench that was opened up last year. What's thought to be a medical instrument was found in it yesterday, hinting that it was an important building.

2011 Paliokastro excavations are up and running!

More info is available on John’s Blog.

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Kythera’s Hidden Secrets

Inside the Cave of Saint Sofia

Inside the Cave of Saint Sofia

Alexandra discovered the very special and well hidden Cave of Agia Sofia just off the road nearby Agia Pelagia.

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Hello Kythera!

Alexandra at Agios Georgios Kolokythias


Alexandra’s first day in Kythera was kickstarted with a visit to Agios Georgios Kolokythias, a Byzantine site north of Agia Pelagia.

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To stay or to go

The story of Manos Vasilakis and Evdokia Chrysovergi covered in Anna’s Blog.

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