Tauchplaetze - Ancient Wreck  
Before diving this site we would highly recommend a visit to theKyrenia Castle. The Ship Wreck Museums there will provide an excellent background for diving thise site and understanding the process that the underwater archeologists followed to recover the wreck.

The ship is more than two thousand years old. A local sponge diver found the ancient ship in 1965. The site was then surveyed and the wreck recovered by a team of underwater archeologists from the University of Pennsylvania. It is claimed to be the oldest shipwreck to have ever been recovered.

The dive site has largely been excavated so this is not a normal wreck dive - it is more a dive to a wreck site and visualizing the process to recover the ship.

In terms of the ship itself, it was a commercial vesel of about 15 meters in length. It was carrying a cargo of amphorae containing wine or olive oil. By identification marks on some of the cargo containers it is evident that the ship visited the Greek islands of Samos, Kos and Rhodes before heading to Cyprus. Many of the amphora are on display in the museums along with a large part of the ship's hull.

The dive is straightforward. You will descend slowly to the bottom at 24 meters. At this level you will see the remains of the recovery site. The site is still partially pegged out with rods and markers for the original excavation.

The archaeologists used a quadrant system to explore and recover items from the site. This is a common technique for underwater explorers to map a recovery site and then to systematically excavate each quadrant.

You will also notice a large depression in the sand. This is where the ship rested undisturbed for almost 2000 years. There are also some of the tools and equipment left on the seabed from the recovery. Off to one side you will see a large tray still containing some of the excavated pieces of amphora vessels. This large tray served as a lifting mechanism for raising objects to the surface. The tray would be filled with recovered artifacts and then sent to the surface with balloons inflated underwater.

If you are looking for marine and reef life, forget it. This site is largely a history lesson on how underwater archeologists recovered the oldest shipwreck in history. It is an enjoyable complement to the museum visit.