Explore ancient Roman shipwrecks in new deep sea archeology adventure

Unique marine program enables individuals to go depths of 150 meter in a private submersible as part of an archeological team documenting 2,000-year-old Roman shipwrecks.

Breda, 26 February 2015 — The not-for-profit Aurora Trust Foundation has partnered with SubSea Explorers, a marine archeology expedition company and U-Boat Worx, a Dutch manufacturer of submersibles. They are offering a first-of-its-kind program for adventurous individuals to take part in an undersea archeological expedition off the coast of Sicily, not as a tourist, but as an exploration crew member working from inside a private submersible.

The program features eight 1-week missions, beginning June 20 and running through August 21. During each mission, the adventurers will be part of a 3-person crew using a state-of-the-art, air-conditioned submersible to view, document and photograph ancient Roman shipwrecks that sank 2,000 years ago.

These archeological wonders had been part of an undisturbed watery graveyard of shipwrecks around the Italian Aeolian Islands. Thanks to modern technology and perseverance, the Aurora Trust Foundation has discovered three Roman shipwrecks near the island of Panarea, part of the Aeolian Islands’ volcanic arc.

“This is a real bucket-list adventure,” said Ian Koblick, co-founder of the Aurora Trust Foundation. “You will become an authentic explorer and one of the first persons in 2,000 years to lay eyes on these ancient Roman shipwrecks.”

Caption: The C-Explorer 3 Manned Submersible(Courtesy of U-Boat Worx)

Participants will each undergo three missions in the C-Explorer 3 that is built with 360-degree views that make you feel like you are inside an aquarium. They will work alongside a marine archeologist and the submersible pilot to try to uncover some of the mysteries of these newly discovered wrecks, whose wooden structures have long since deteriorated but whose amphora/cargo are remarkably intact. Under supervision of the Sicilian government, some artifacts will be removed from the sea floor to be curated and displayed in regional exhibits.

“This type of program hasn’t been done before because the local governments have wanted to keep their ancient shipwreck locations very private so people don’t disturb them,” Koblick said. “Through our exploration efforts during the past 10 years we have built close relationships with governments and individuals which enable us to provide this unprecedented opportunity.”

Location: Breda, Netherlands

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