Greek and American scientists to continue successful joint deep-sea exploration project

The United States and Greece will continue their successful deep-sea exploration program in the summer of 2006. The project, part of a long-term partnership between Greek and American scientists and engineers, explores the deep-sea basins of Greece to locate, map and interpret ancient shipwrecks and geological and chemical features in three areas. American Ambassador to Athens Charles Ries is holding a dinner on Tuesday in honor of the team as well as to present the results of the partnership’s 2005 project. The program is jointly supported by the Greek Culture Ministry, the Ephorate of Underwater Activities, the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR), the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The precision surveys are carried out by the SeaBED (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, or AUV) developed by WHOI. The next mission, in summer 2006, will investigate a Byzantine-era shipwreck (c. 10th century AD) 110 meters below the surface, a Classical/Hellenistic wreck (c. fourth century BC) at a depth of 500 meters, an active submarine volcano and unexplored sea floor. The Greek and American partners each contribute equipment, funding and skilled personnel. Their goal is to find answers to fundamental questions about the sea and human interaction with it.