May 1, 2004
Scientists and engineers in the Deep Submergence Laboratory are working with Canadian, American and Greek colleagues to find and study the lost fleets of the Persian Wars. The WHOI team, experienced in underwater search and survey work and in imaging the seafloor in detail, has participated in a number of archaeological studies in the Mediterranean and Black Seas in the past decade. In June, WHOI researchers will return to the site off Mount Athos in the northern Aegean Sea to survey the seafloor for remains of the ancient warships, known as triremes, along with their bronze rams and other armaments. No wreck of a trireme has ever been found. Ships from five fleets are believed preserved in deep water, some sunk in storms and others lost in battle. Additional wrecks may lie scattered in harbors and coastal areas.