2016 season starting

2016 diving season is starting. By Thursday, the whole team will be at Antikythera. The weather is improving. Check-out dives on Tuesday, dives on the wreck as soon as possible.

Stay tuned for more!

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Diving support vessel MV Nikolas reaching Antikythera

Some photos from the arrival, by Michael Tsimperopoulos:

New Underwater Research at Antikythera

Before the 2016 “Return to Antikythera” season, a conference by Brendan Foley at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Date: Thursday, February 18th.
More details at the ASCSA website.

Live, Over the Shipwreck!

We’re working at maximum capacity today, the first four teams are in the water, with the fifth team dropping in now.

The ROV is keeping an eye on things, providing a live view from the surface which helps better synchronise the process.

Stay tuned!

The ROV provides a live view of operations.

The ROV provides a live view of operations.

Special guests!

Special guests! Yanis Bitsakis with Mathias Buttet and Michel Blumenthal from Hublot R&D.

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Brendan Foley and Gemma Smith are the fifth team to drop in today.

Brendan Foley and Gemma Smith are the fifth team to drop in today.

New Arrivals

Mathias Buttet, Director of R&D at Hublot, and designer of the Antikythera Mechanism watch arrived in Antikythera today, perfect timing to observe the excavation in top gear over the next few days.

Another interesting arrival was a caïque with Kalymnian sponge divers on board, who will be diving for sponges in the area this week. It was quite nostalgic talking to the guys, who have a similar vessel and use similar techniques to the sponge divers who originally found the Antikythera shipwreck in 1900.

Luxury watch maker HUBLOT is a major sponsor of the Return to Antikythera project and their support is greatly appreciated.

Mathias Buttet being briefed on progress so far.

Mathias Buttet being briefed on progress so far.

The sponge diving boat from Kalymnos.

The sponge diving boat from Kalymnos.

Gemma Smith, Phil Short & Jo Marchant had a great time talking to the sponge divers.

Gemma Smith, Phil Short & Jo Marchant had a great time talking to the sponge divers.

The whole dive team was excited about sponge diving techniques of the past. Here's Evan Kovacs with a locally harvested sponge to take back to the USA as a present.

The whole dive team was excited about sponge diving techniques of the past. Here’s Evan Kovacs with a locally harvested sponge to take back to the USA as a present.

Local Help

We’d like to thank Dr. Fotini Lata for her help this week, when team photographer Brett Seymour sustained a hand injury. She helped diagnose the injury and immobilized Brett’s hand, which assisted him in getting back in the water sooner.

It’s a shame that Fotini finishes her post in Antikythera today and we wish her the best, perhaps returning next year as team doctor for Return to Antikythera 2016.

Dr. Fotini Lata, with journalist and author of Decoding the Heavens, Jo Marchant, Brett Seymour & Brendan Foley.

Dr. Fotini Lata, with journalist and author of Decoding the Heavens, Jo Marchant, Brett Seymour & Brendan Foley.

Making Progress

The team has found a good rhythm and is being very productive. It takes a week to set up and then the first few days to iron out any bugs, and now we’re past those phases, the team is hitting its stride. Below is a selection of photos from today, showing the team in action.

And beneath the surface, the following video by Evan Kovacs provides insight regarding how working in water is like being in a different world.

Photos by John Fardoulis ©ARGO 2015

Mooring the boats.

Mooring the boats.

Dr. Carl Kaiser preparing the ROV, which provides a live video feed to the surface.

Dr. Carl Kaiser preparing the ROV, which provides a live video feed to the surface.

Archaeologists Dr. Brendan Foley & Dr. Dave Conlin waiting for their dive slot.

Archaeologists Dr. Brendan Foley & Dr. Dave Conlin waiting for their dive slot.

Alexander Sotiriou getting ready for the first dive of the day, to move the underwater dredge.

Alexander Sotiriou getting ready for the first dive of the day, to move the underwater dredge.

Here's Gemma Smith, ready for business.

Here’s Gemma Smith, ready for business.

Captain Mihalis Kelaidis helping Evan Kovacs & Brett Seymour back into the boat after their dive.

Captain Mihalis Kelaidis helping Evan Kovacs & Brett Seymour back into the boat after their dive.

Excavating

The underwater excavation is currently in full swing, with multiple 2-3 diver teams making the most of their bottom time each day.

A very detailed map has been created for the site by an underwater robot at the beginning of summer and last year, meaning that everything retrieved from the shipwreck can be plotted on this blueprint, which helps us better understand the shipwreck by studying the spatial relationship between objects.

If you go back a few posts, an explanation was provided about how the underwater dredge works. It’s currently a major tool in helping uncover thousands of years of sand/silt/gravel. Today’s photos are by Brett Seymour.

Dives are staged to maximise efficiency, with decompression time often overlapping so that multiple buddy pairs complete their hang time together.

Dives are staged to maximise efficiency, with decompression time often overlapping so that multiple buddy pairs complete their hang time together.

Here's the underwater dredge in action.

Here’s the underwater dredge in action.

Video Highlights

We’ve got two new videos to view on our YouTube channel, one showing what the expedition was like yesterday, and another showcasing the M/Y Glaros, which arrived in Antikythera last night, generously provided for use during the project by the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation.

Lots of very high quality photos have been taken so far, and hours of inspiring video has been filmed, we’ll endeavour to share more over the coming days.

Live Update…

This is a live update from over the Antikythera shipwreck.

The archaeologists in our team dived the wreck for the first time today, a major milestone. Stay tuned for more information!

Dr. Brendan Foley is still in the water decompressing after diving the shipwreck, more information shortly.

Dr. Brendan Foley is still in the water decompressing after diving the shipwreck, more information soon.

Dr. Theotokis Theodoulou has just surfaced after diving the shipwreck.

Dr. Theotokis Theodoulou has just surfaced after diving the shipwreck.

Alex Tortas has just surfaced after diving the Antikythera shipwreck.

Alex Tourtas has just surfaced after diving the Antikythera shipwreck.

First 2015 Dives on the Shipwreck

The first dives of the expedition took place on the Antikythera shipwreck today, setting up mooring and safety lines at various depths, so that the boats can be safely positioned above the site, protecting it and also providing a safe operating environment for divers to work and decompress.

Datum lines were also established to help orientate research activities this season. The level of excitement has increased with the site now ready for work, after spending the last week setting up the tonnes of equipment needed for the project.

Stay tuned for insight from one of the most exciting underwater excavations in the world.

Phil Short and Gemma Smith, preparing to splash for the first dive of the season.

Phil Short and Gemma Smith, preparing to splash for the first dive of the season.

Evan Kovacs filming schools of fish swimming in the surge during decompression, after filming on the wreck.

Evan Kovacs filming schools of fish swimming in the surge during decompression, after filming on the wreck.

Lowering the water dredge, ready for excavating.

Lowering the water dredge, ready for excavating.

Gemma Smith decompressing after being the first female diver on the wreck, as far as we know, another milestone for today.

Gemma Smith decompressing after being the first female diver on the wreck, as far as we know, another milestone for today.

Phil Short, decompressing after the first dive on the wreck for this season

Phil Short, decompressing after the first dive on the wreck for this season

Alexander Sotiriou decompressing after his first dive on the wreck this season.

Alexander Sotiriou decompressing after his first dive on the wreck this season.