Davis to discuss ancient Black Sea shipwrecks in Coe presentation

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or rpritcha@coe.edu

2018-03-20 07:00:00 - General

Daniel Davis
Daniel Davis

Luther College Classics Professor Daniel Davis will present "Ancient Shipwrecks in the Deep Black Sea: A New Frontier in Marine Archaeology" in an upcoming lecture at Coe College. The presentation will be held on Monday, April 2, beginning at 6 p.m. in Kesler Lecture Hall of Hickok Hall. Sponsored by the Coe College anthropology program, the event is open to the public at no charge.

The Black Sea served as a bustling maritime highway for the ancient and medieval cultures of Greece, Rome, Byzantium and the Italian maritime republics. Like the Mediterranean, its depths hide the remains of hundreds of ancient shipwrecks. However, unlike the warm, oxygen-rich bottom of the Mediterranean, the anoxic waters of the Black Sea abyss have long been thought to preserve organic remains.

Davis is part of an international team of archaeologists and oceanographers who are starting to discover ancient and medieval shipwrecks in the Black Sea using the latest in robotic technology. The well-preserved state of these wrecks and their cargoes have electrified the archaeological community and the world.

Between 2008 and 2013 Professor Davis served as the chief marine archaeologist for the E/V Nautilus expeditions, organized and led by Drs. Robert Ballard (discoverer of the Titanic) and Michael Brennan. The survey areas included the southeast Aegean off ancient Knidos, and the Black Sea off of both Sinop (ancient Sinope) and Ereğli (ancient Heraclea Pontica) – areas that witnessed high volumes of seaborne commercial traffic during antiquity and the Middle Ages. In that time, the researchers discovered and documented almost 50 shipwrecks that sank in deep water, 30 of which date between the sixth century B.C. and the sixth century A.D. The main search tool was the remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) Hercules.

Since 2011, Davis has taught ancient Greek, Latin and classical civilization courses, including Greek and Roman archaeology, marine archaeology, ancient science and mythology at Luther College. He has authored numerous articles on ancient seafaring and marine archaeology. Davis earned a bachelor's degree in classic civilizations from the University of Iowa, a master's degree in archaeology (nautical archaeology) from Texas A & M University, and a Ph.D. in classics from the University of Texas at Austin.

For more information, call 319-399-8605.