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Albania intends to entice tourists with treasures of underwater archaeology

Albania has decided to step up its efforts to boost tourism and for this purpose has decided to use underwater archaeology. The findings, made in the south-western coastal area, are expected to encourage both domestic and foreign tourists to visit and thus help raise funds for their preservation. The non-profit RPM Nautical Foundation has so
Published: February 15, 2017 - 05:32
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 14:48
Albania intends to entice tourists with treasures of underwater archaeology

Albania has decided to step up its efforts to boost tourism and for this purpose has decided to use underwater archaeology. The findings, made in the south-western coastal area, are expected to encourage both domestic and foreign tourists to visit and thus help raise funds for their preservation.

The non-profit RPM Nautical Foundation has so far mapped around a third of the Albanian coastline. The surveyed area stretches from the town of Saranda, located near the Greek island of Corfu, to the town of Vlora.

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As Auron Tare – director of the National Coastline Agency – told the media, during the works in the waters of the Ionian Sea 38 wrecks were discovered, 6 of which are over 2000 years old! He also added that these findings show that ancient Illyria (a land encompassing the area of present-day Albania, among others) was more of a trade centre than a pirate refuge and base, as it is commonly believed.

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Tare also pointed out that the wealth hidden in Albanian waters needs better protection. With a coastline 350 km long, it is quite a large area to protect. Popularising the region as a tourist destination is expected to help. Although the diving industry in Albania is practically non-existent, proper marketing and promotion can change this state of affairs.

[blockquote style=”2″]”We have a ton of great underwater archaeology sites, but until now we haven’t been able to take proper care of them or use them,” – Tare said.[/blockquote]

The Albanian National Coastline Agency has just opened an exhibition in Tirana consisting of 30 photographs depicting significant archaeological finds from the last decade. Among them are amphorae, pots and various ceramics from ancient Greece, decorated with tiny shells. The vessels were used to store wine or oil, among other things.

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The wrecks themselves, however, appearing in the photographs cover a much larger period of time. The discovered vessels range in date from the 6th – 5th centuries BC through the Austro-Hungarian Empire vessels of World War I to Italian ships of World War II.

During the time Albania was ruled by the communist regime (until 1990), the army controlling the coast successfully deterred anyone who wanted to illegally explore and plunder the submerged cultural and historical heritage. Unfortunately, many valuable artifacts have since been stolen.

However, according to Neritan Ceka – a veteran underwater archaeologist who has been involved in many research and exploration projects over the years – there is still a wealth of untouched finds on the bottom.

[blockquote style=”2″]”This extraordinary and rich archaeological heritage should be presented to the local people to help preserve it and to present it to the rest of the world. The historical and scientific value of these discoveries is incredible,” Ceka said.”[/blockquote]

Source: yahoo.com/news Photo: Albanian National Coastline Agency

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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