by Dr. Matthew Harpster
The subject: The northern Cypriot coastline experienced a flurry of underwater archaeological activity beginning in 1967 including surveys, the development and testing of underwater magnetometers and metal detectors and, particularly, the excavation of the 4th-century BC vessel near the town of Kyrenia. As a result of the events in the summer of 1974, however, all of this activity came to an unexpected and premature halt; archaeological activity in the northern portion of Cyprus since that time has been virtually absent.
The vessel excavated near Kyrenia, once a nexus of this activity and a significant representative of it, has suffered from this absence in a variety of ways. The management and curation of the assemblage has been intermittent, the exhibition is out of date, material in storage needs further stabilization, and the infrastructure is in need of repair. Prompted by these issues, the Kyrenia Shipwreck Collection Restoration Program began in 2011 to stabilize, revitalize and reinvigorate all aspects of the Kyrenia vessel and the exhibit, and similarly hopes to enhance the capacity and knowledge of the community to care for their cultural resources in the future. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.
Dr. Matthew Harpster: After receiving his PhD with a specialty in Nautical Archaeology from Texas A&M University in 2005, Matthew Harpster was a Fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 2006 to 2010, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Archaeology and Art History at Eastern Mediterranean University, in Famagusta, until he began his present position as the Director of the Kyrenia Shipwreck Collection Restoration Program. This international effort hopes to revitalize and care for the 4th-century BC collection artifacts excavated in the late 1960s, as well as the surrounding exhibition and infrastructure.
The event (presentation and full Sunday luncheon) is scheduled for Sunday, 25 March 2012 at 12:00, at Onar Village in Kyrenia. The cost of admission is 30 TL, and seats should be reserved in advance at Sidestreets, Tel: 229-3071. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.sidestreets.org
The 17th event in Sidestreets’ “Conversations on Culture” series in Kyrenia will be the presentation “The Kyrenia Shipwreck: Its History and Future Plans” by Dr. Matthew Harpster. The presentation will be in English. Space is limited, so please call and reserve in advance.