Institute for Mediterranean Studies


Translating Submerged and Buried Cultural Heritage from Shallow Water to Digital environment with Geoinformatics

Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (H.F.R.I) under the framework of the 2nd Call for H.F.R.I. Research Projects to support Faculty Members and Researchers

Coordinator & Principal Investigator

ClepsYdra is a research program that will maximize the accessibility to information regarding the current state of now submerged sites by minimizing the gap of available protocols and procedures for shallow-water cultural heritage investigations. Furthermore, ClepsYdra focuses on developing ways to explore and promote these under-studied submerged contexts, improve community awareness and involvement in protection practices, digital curation and informed tourism. To achieve these goals ClepsYdra joins the efforts of two international research institutes from Greece (IMS-FORTH) and Italy (ISPC-CNR) in close collaboration with and the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities from the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sport. The synergy of these entities aims at boosting the development in respective fields and promote future collaboration on a larger scale.
The case-studies to implement the actions of the project are situated in Eastern Crete (Koufonisi, Chrisi, Ierapetra), where the geomorphological processes shaped large-scale changes on the coast. Numerous locations testify here this sensible landscape modification so that past coastal settlements/infrastructures are now covered with water and/or sand layers and are potentially excluded by the scientific community’s discourse on past coastal exploitation. ClepsYdra will side the archaeological research with state-of-the-art methodologies and innovative technological integrated framework for the documentation and promotion of CH, adapting equipment and practices to the shallow underwater context.
The contribution to the documentation of current state of CH will pass through: a) aerial/satellite remote sensing –specifically targeted to historical reconstruction of coastal zone and seabed–, b) digital photogrammetry –with customization of remotely controlled floating device and specific protocols to account for the camera/lens distortion in water medium–, c) geophysical mapping –with adaptation of sensors and protocols for the wet environment– and d) risk assessment –integration of collected spatial information for the estimation of risks for CH–, e) Virtual/Augmented Reality platform –fed with the above for the promotion of submerged CH in unprecedented ways.

Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (HFRI) General Secretariat for Research and Innovation (GSRI)