During the summer of 2006, the RPM Nautical Foundation carried out extensive surveys along the coasts of Turkey, Sicily, and Malta; work continued in Sicily during the 2007 field season. The goal was to document all submerged cultural resources from as near shore as feasible to the 100 m contour. Documentation for each site included mapping its precise location, an estimation of the site’s size and composition, a preliminary cultural resources identification, a determination of the date range, and a preliminary assessment of its historical context and potential for further study. The surveys were conducted with RPM’s research vessels, equipment with multibeam echosounder sonar systems and subsequently verified with an ROV.
Multibeam echosounder imagery has proven more effective for locating submerged cultural sites than either sidescan sonar or other remote sensing systems at these depths when properly analyzed. In conjunction, each site was thoroughly and extensively documented with video and digital photographic coverage, and when possible, diagnostic artifacts were collected for further analysis with the ROV.