Kyrenia Shipwreck Excavation

  • Matthew HarpsterEmail author
Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history



The wreck of the late fourth-century BC ship off the coast of Kyrenia, Cyprus, was found by Andreas Cariolou in 1965. The survey and excavation of the site was directed by Michael Katzev between 1967 and 1969. Katzev oversaw the research of the collection well until his death in 2001; his wife, Susan Katzev, has been leading those efforts since. The excavation of this site revealed a very well-preserved assemblage containing amphorae from Chios, Samos, and Rhodes, a collection of personal items suggesting the presence of a captain and a crew of three on board at the time of loss and the remains of approximately 60–70% of the original hull. As a unique, handmade object approximately 14 m long built over two millennia ago, this wooden hull is exceptional, and it and its replicas have become emblematic of seafaring in the Mediterranean Sea during the Hellenistic era.

The collection has been on display and in storage in the Crusader-era castle in Kyrenia, Cyprus, since 1970....

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Anonymous. 1974. Cambridge Underwater Exploration Group, Salamis Survey 1974. Cambridge University Library Archives.Google Scholar
  2. Flemming, N. 1974. Report of preliminary underwater investigations at Salamis, Cyprus. Report of the Department of Antiquities Cyprus, pp. 163–173.Google Scholar
  3. Green, J. 1970. Cape Andreas expedition, 1969. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Green, J. 1973. An underwater archaeological survey of Cape Andreas, Cyprus, 1969–70: A preliminary report. In Marine archaeology, ed. D. Blackman, 141–179. London: Archon Books.Google Scholar
  5. Harpster, M. 2015. Protecting maritime heritage in disputed territory: The Kyrenia Shipwreck Collection Restoration Program. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 3: 156–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Katzev, M. 1974. Cyprus underwater archaeological search, 1967. National Geographic Society Research Reports, pp. 177–184.Google Scholar
  7. Katzev, M. 1975. Conservation of the Kyrenia Ship, 1970–71. National Geographic Society Research Reports, pp. 331–340.Google Scholar
  8. Katzev, M. 1981. The reconstruction of the Kyrenia ship, 1972–1975. National Geographic Society Research Reports 13, pp. 315–328.Google Scholar
  9. Katzev, M. 1990. An analysis of the experimental voyages of Kyrenia II. In TROPIS II, ed. H. Tzalas, 245–256. Athens: Hellenic Institute for the Preservation of Nautical Tradition.Google Scholar
  10. Katzev, S. 2007. The ancient ship of Kyrenia, Beneath Cyprus Seas. In Great moments in Greek archaeology. Translated by David Hardy, ed. P. Valvanis, C. Petrakos, and A. Delivorrias, 286–299. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum.Google Scholar
  11. Katzev, M., and S. Katzev. 1989. ‘Kyrenia II’: Building a replica of an ancient Greek merchantman. In H. Tzalas, ed. I. TROPIS, 163–175. Athens: Hellenic Institute for the Preservation of Nautical Tradition.Google Scholar
  12. Raban, A. 1995. The heritage of ancient harbour engineering in Cyprus, the Levant. In Cyprus and the sea, ed. V. Karageorghis and D. Michaelides, 139–188. Cyprus Ports Authority: Nicosia.Google Scholar
  13. Steffy, J.R. 1985. The Kyrenia ship: An interim report on its Hull construction. American Journal of Archaeology 89: 71–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Archaeology and the History of ArtKoç UniversityIstanbulTurkey

Section editors and affiliations

  • Geoffrey N. Bailey
    • 1
  • Wendy van Duivenvoorde
  1. 1.The King's Manor, Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of YorkYorkUK