Tag Archives: survey

Past Preservers

Past Preservers:
‘Expert of the Week’

Thank you Past Preservers, I was thrilled to recently be featured as your ‘Expert of the Week’! 😊 For those interested or curious, check out my profile on the expert database and get in touch for any archaeological media & documentary projects! http://www.pastpreservers.com/our-experts

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Photography credits: (left, London) @brianrolfephoto | (centre, Peru) @eslopez128 | (right, Iceland) @laivo

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Fishermen on the Backwaters

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‘Fishermen on the Backwaters’ – Pattanam, Kerala, India

A tranquil moment observing local everyday life along the beautiful backwaters of Kerala, India. This spot was just a short bike ride away from where I was leading a magnetometry survey at the archaeological site of Pattanam, believed to be the ancient Indo-Roman trade-port Muziris.

See our field report for more:  www.keralahistory.ac.in/pdf2014/ptm2011_field%20Report.pdf

Exploring Epirus

THE BALKANS

A place where the mountains kiss the seas. Soaring backdrops contour the distinct steep rocky shores of the Balkans. I have been lucky to explore the coastlines of Croatia, Montenegro, and more recently, their less visited neighbour, Albania. It is still relatively unknown and untouched
 a beautiful country, rich in history. I was part of a team of international scientists on the “Albania 2016 Marine Science Expedition”, in search of ancient shipwrecks and artefacts along different sites in Albania, known in ancient times as Epirus.

CORFU STRAIT & ALBANIA

Just as ancient sailors did over 2000 years ago, we embarked on our expedition from the Greek island of Corfu, sailing across to SarandĂ«, on the Albanian Riviera, then northward through and beyond the Corfu Strait to VlorĂ« Bay. We sought temporary shelter along the way at Porto Palermo, where the Ali Pasha Castle lies. Before reaching it, we had to watch out for the inconspicuous reef that was hazardous to sailors throughout antiquity, known as the Devil’s Tongue. Below the surface rests the Joni Wreck, a large 4th century AD Roman shipwreck. As we navigated along this mountainous coast, we faced changing winds and choppy waters, so we continually adapted to nature’s whim. Along the largely harbourless Karaburun Peninsula, we caught sight of the distinct limestone-ringed rocky coastline known as the White Roads in antiquity. We anchored en-route, strapped on our dive gear and explored the seabed of Gramma Bay, a small natural haven where Roman forces landed, and Greek and Latin inscriptions of sailors are engraved on the cliff walls of the way, a sort of sailors’ ‘rock diary’.

We then set sail around the tip of the peninsula where it curves into Vlorë Bay, past the natural colour-changing border where the Adriatic and Ionian Seas merge. Along this stretch lies the Cave of the Illyrians, believed to have been a pirate hideout in the past. We explored threatened areas, finding evidence for ancient sea-level change and maritime trade. Our most exciting discoveries were large submerged remains at the fortified Roman port of Triport, proving to be far larger than previously believed, extending an additional 8 acres at least. It offered anchorage for ships on the sea and Narta Lagoon, linking ancient cities via major Roman roads and trade routes. On the return journey, we took the land route instead, driving south along mountainous winding roads through abundant national parks. We reached Lake Butrint, an inland lagoon linked to the Roman fortified colony and port Butrint, a key archaeological UNESCO World Heritage site in southern Albania. We carried out underwater cultural assessments of nearby areas, while enjoying evenings at our remote camp surrounding a fireplace in the company of scorpions and mosquitos, overlooking Corfu under a starry sky to the sound of crashing waves.

[excerpt from my ‘Snippets of a Nomadic Year: From South America to the Balkans‘ article published in F*Shift Magazine‘s Explorer issue, Oct 2016, pp. 40-41]

Note: Albania content edited by Steven Lopez, Travel Editor & Archaeologist for F*Shift Magazine, and Oh Snap Adventures! Blog (with M.Sc., specialising on Roman navigation in Albania).

Project directed by Peter B. Campbell, M.A (University of Southampton), Neritan Ceka (Albanian Institute of Archaeology), and Albanian National Coastal Agency.


“Expedition finds remains of fortified Roman port are much larger than previously thought”. Read more about our recent marine science expedition in Albania, featured on Physics News (Phys.org) and the see following blog post.


Exploring Albania’s maritime heritage. Photography: Steven Lopez (instagram: @eslopez128).

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Underwater Survey of Gramma Bay. Photography: Peter B. Campbell, Project Director
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Albania Marine Science Expedition team. Photography: Steven Lopez (instagram: eslopez128).