The project was led by Cyprus International University with contributions by the Nautilus Diving School under the auspices of the Department of Antiquities and Museums
Since 2018, underwater cultural heritage research has been carried out by the Cyprus International University (CIU) Archeology, Cultural Heritage and Conservation Centre.
Teams conducting underwater diving research on the northern coastline, have removed the rare stone anchor covered with Egyptian hieroglyphs, estimated to date back 3,000 years, from the seabed.
CIU faculty member Dr. Müge Şevketoğlu said it was the first stone anchor to be discovered in the Mediterranean which was so densely covered with hieroglyphs.
Work is now underway to translate the hieroglyphs.
Dr. Şevketoğlu said that if the hieroglyphs, which were believed by the ancient Egyptians, to be the writings of the Gods, are translated, it is likely that very significant new archaeological information will affect the thinking about Mediterranean archeology, especially regarding Cyprus and Egypt. Following the discovery of the anchor, large-scale research will be initiated in the region, she said.
Dr. Şevketoğlu noted that in the Bronze Age, stone anchors were used as a means of securing ships against currents or in stormy weather. She pointed out that anchors inscribed with a few hieroglyphs had been discovered in two important late Bronze Age settlements in Cyprus in temples at Enkomi and Kition.
She noted that the anchors discovered in temples were believed to be left as ceremonial offerings made to protect sailors and their valuable cargos.