Saturday 18 Jan 2020

Exhibition:" iMARE CULTURE: a virtual journey around underwater archaeological sites of the Mediterranean"

Category: Periodical Exhibitions
Published Date Written by Thalassa Museum



From the very early stages of history, the sea has been involved with the daily life of humankind. Fishing and seafaring activity in the Mediterranean are testified since the Upper Palaeolithic (11th millennium BC), while by the Late Bronze Age (17th-11th century BC) the area was transformed into a centre of inter-cultural communication. The coastal settlements, ports, harbours, and ships located around the Mediterranean confirm the maritime-oriented culture that gradually developed in the area.

Testimonies of the sea-related activities of the past are located underwater as a result of different catastrophe events such as shipwrecks, sea-level fluctuations, and earthquakes. Even though scientific interest on the field dates since the 1960s, underwater cultural heritage remains beyond the reach of the public.


The temporary exhibition “iMARE CULTURE: a virtual journey around underwater archaeological sites of the Mediterranean”, attempts to overcome the existing barrier between underwater archaeological sites and the public. It is based on the European project iMARE CULTURE, coordinated by the Cyprus University of Technology, which aims to bring inherently unreachable underwater cultural heritage within digital reach of the wide public. 

Focusing on sites located around the Mediterranean Sea, the exhibition features holographic screens and Virtual Reality (VR) Head Mounted Displays (HMDs), which allow visitors an immersive experience. Visitors will be able to “dive” in the past and freely navigate in the three underwater test sites of iMARE CULTURE project, digitally replicated into the virtual world: the submerged Roman city of Baia (Italy), the Archaic shipwreck of Xlendi (Malta) and the Classical shipwreck of Mazotos (Cyprus).

As part of the experience, visitors will have the opportunity to directly “grab”, move and rotate, 3D objects shown on the holographic screens and get information in an interactive way about the significance and history of each site. At the same time, amphorae from one of the project’s test sites, the Mazotos shipwreck, will be exhibited for the first time, providing a comparative virtual and real experience in the area of the museum. 

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