In the framework of the Single Action "Research-Create-Innovate" of the Operational Programme «Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship» (OPCE ΙΙ) the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities participates in the "iblueCulture" project.
i-blueCulture offers realistic "dry" dive experiences providing digital access to the underwater environment to all citizens, tourists and researchers. Through i-blueCulture, the user can navigate and move with precision in virtual underwater landscapes of ancient and historical shipwrecks using multimedia devices on land (eg. in a museum or an information center) or at sea (e.g. on a cruise ship above the wreck). Beyond its recreational and educational contribution, i-blueCulture also offers a low-cost surveillance system for the protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage sites from looting and other similar threats.
The main expected outputs of the project are:
i-blueCulture will present 3 Byzantine shipwreck sites located in the bay of Vasilikos at the island of Peristera close to Alonissos found at an approximate depth of 55 to 60 meters. The shipwrecks date back to the 10th, 11th, and 12th centuries AD and were carrying large cargoes comprising 3000 - 4000 amphorae.
Moreover, the cargo ship "CHRISTOFOROS" that was built in Scotland in 1950 and sank in 1983 at a depth of 43 meters in the bay of Panormos, Skopelos will be available for "dry" diving. The ship transported 2,600 tons of cement from Volos to Piraeus heading towards its destination in Algeria. It is a modern shipwreck in excellent condition, that was until recently inaccessible to divers since it is located within the buffer zone of an adjacent underwater archaeological site.
Besides EUA, the i-blueCulture team comprises the School of Rural and Surveying Engineering of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Technical University of Crete, the Information Technologies Institute of the Centre of Research and Technology Hellas, Dive Skopelos and ArxNET.
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