Underwater archaeology mission finds relics

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 16, 2018 10:43

Underwater archaeology mission finds relics

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  • The underwater archeology team found a relic which is about 400 years old near the Cape of Rodon. They call out to authorities and state institutions to help them in monitoring the old sunken ships from ‘’treasure pirates’’ who are stealing historically significant objects and harming the ships.

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TIRANA, Nov. 13- A few days ago the underwater archeology team led by underwater archeologist Adrian Anastasi, found a piece of relic at the Cape of Rodon. The 20-meter-long relic is part of a very old sunken shipwreck found near the beach by the team, which is alleged to be around 300-400 years old. This is the fourth relic found in this area, thus the piece was symbolically named ‘Rodon 4.’ After being photographed, the pieces went into the process of conservation and the respective institutions are taking care of it.
The underwater team led by Anastasi is working in finalizing an underwater archeology map regarding the artefacts in the coastline to be given to the respective authorities to prevent diving and possible looting. The members working are volunteering archeologists and professional divers who are depended from the Ministry of Culture. Tens of sunken shipwrecks are found buried in our coasts, with worthy relics, but with a history that needs to be explored and transmitted to the public.
‘’These sunken ships of different situations and times have the potential to turn into tourist attractions, not only for the passionate divers, but also to those passionate of exploring and archeology,’’ said Denis Nova, team member. Nova is a diving instructor to the international association ‘’Padi,’’ and a passionate explorer who has inspected the depths of Adriatic and Ionian seas.
This initiative became stronger after ‘’treasure pirates’’ were diving to the shipwrecks and ripping out various relics of their bodies. These relics were then sold to the national and international black markets. Sounds like a Hollywood movie plot, but this is happening in our coasts, and these treasure hunters of the seas are damaging historically significant objects and stealing national property.
Yet, Nova says that there is a lack of control and concern from the respective authorities towards the coastlines and what lies underneath. Under these conditions, the team calls out an alarming situation and requires the strengthening of a monitoring control group from the adequate responsible authorities.
‘’Most of the ships are damaged from persons whose objective was antiques or worthy objects trading,’’ said Nova.
He goes on to point out that more ships will be harmed if necessary measures won’t be taken from state institutions to monitor and protect them. That’s a pity as these ships and the objects found in them have an historical significance, both from the two world wars, from during the communist regime, and most interestingly since the Illyrians. These ships could be used in the benefit of tourism, archeology and diving.

“The finds show ancient sources are in contradiction to what we are finding underwater. The coastline of ancient Illyria was not only populated by pirate population, but the fact that many commercial ships loaded with wine, cooking oil and other products were discovered near our coast shows of a trade exchange between Illyria and other Mediterranean regions,” has earlier said Auron Tare, director of the National Coastline Agency of Albania (NCAA).

Nova also said that if authorities intervene, there will also be a chance to preserve the biodiversity in our seas which has been harmed from the uncontrolled use of explosives.

This situation is especially estranging because the coasts were undergoing a conjoint mission between NCAA and Virazon II, an archeological team vessel of Texas-based Institute of Nautical Archeology (INA). The mission sought to inspect and build a museum of underwater cultural heritage.

A meeting was conducted between the two teams and the Albanian authorities to protect the coastlines and the discoveries from looting, and accelerate the working from the show-case of the findings. Apparently the legislation is still pending since earlier July 2018 when the mission started, even though a significant work is being done, and also with a intervention from an American agency.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 16, 2018 10:43