The following article presents the preliminary results of the Western Crete Project, an underwater geo-archaeological survey, conducted from September 15th to October 10th 2013, in the gulf of Kissamos and the promontories of Rodhopos and Gramvousa, by the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
During the survey eight sites of ancient wrecks were located, five of ancient cargos, one with 19th-century cannon, one of a modern steel shipwreck, and a site with pierced, possibly natural stone formations. The three sites with finds dated to Roman times include a cargo of Roman stone blocks weighing more than 100 tons, a possible cargo of amphorae and tableware, and a third one of African amphorae. Several amphorae of Byzantine times were found at two more sites. Moreover, a site with pierced stones, initially interpreted as a possible cargo, seems finally more like geological formations. Besides the above sites, four more anchorages in use from Classical to modern times were investigated. The uplifted harbor of Kissamos, Mavros Molos, was also roughly studied.
The results of the survey are indicative of ancient navigation patterns in the rough waters of Western Crete, a crossroad between the Aegean and the Ionian Sea, Crete and the Peloponnese.