Prespa Lakes: The Crossroads of Three Civilizations

Prespa is the name of two freshwater lakes in southeast Europe, shared by Greece, Albania, and Macedonia. They are the highest tectonic lakes in the Balkans, standing at an altitude of 853 m (2,798 ft). The Great Prespa Lake is divided between Albania, Greece and Macedonia. The Small Prespa Lake is shared only between Greece and Albania.

For many years, the Greek part of the Prespa Lakes region was an underpopulated, military sensitive area which required special permission for outsiders to visit. It saw fierce fighting during the Greek Civil War and much of the local population subsequently emigrated to escape endemic poverty and political strife. The region remained little developed until the 1970s, when it began to be promoted as a tourist destination. With an abundance of rare fauna and flora, the area was declared a Transnational Park in 2000. In 1999 the Society for the Protection of Prespa received the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award for its conservation efforts regarding the Lake Prespa Ramsar site.

Recent discoveries of neolithic grave sites around the lakes have initiated an expedition by the Center planned for the summer of 2012. Read more about the initial planning stages here...

What is Nautical Archaeology?

Underwater, marine, maritime, or nautical archaeology is simply archaeology done under the water. Together with cultural and physical anthropology and linguistics, archaeology - both on land and underwater - is a subfield of the science of anthropology, the study of humankind. Basically, the tools, techniques, and products are the same no matter where one works, although different environments may require adaptations to the task at hand. But the goals are the same: understanding our past.

 

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