A merchant ship loaded with thousands of amphora from Mende (the ancient city of Chalkidiki) and Peparethos (modern Skopelos) traversed the blue waters of the Aegean Sea in the 5th century BC. No one could have known that its precious cargo was not to reach its destination but instead to become Greece’s first underwater archaeological diving park.
The Peristera wreck is one of the largest known from classical antiquity. The wreck remains in the form of a giant cargo pile of amphorae spanning a length of 25 meters preserved in the shape and outline of what once was the sunken merchant ship made of wood which has long since been reclaimed by the sea.
The Peristera merchant ship is estimated to have had the capacity to carry some 4,000 amphorae and effected a displacement of 120 tons.
Discovered accidentally by fishermen in 1985, extensive excavations occurred on this significant archaeological site in 1990. Its ongoing study has yielded valuable information to the study of Greek and Mediterranean underwater archaeology including the advanced understanding of shipbuilding and nautical engineering the classical Greeks possessed, far ahead of their time.
Located at the islet of Peristera near Alonissos, in the complex of the Northern Sporades islands, the Peristera wreck was not only a pioneer in ancient times but has paved the way for a new dimension of underwater archaeology in today’s world.
In 2020 the shipwreck of Peristera opened to the public for divers and became the first underwater ancient archaeological museum in Greece – and the world.
The operation of this museum was made possible by the technological innovations and successful implementation of the NOUS Undersea Vision Surveillance System.
Peristera’s system consists of five NOUS submarine units fully equipped with cameras and windshield wipers fitted to the camera lenses. The underwater operation is controlled by multitasking computing units. Extending to a submarine hub, the network of underwater cameras is powered by a 200 m. long cable reaching to the shore, connected to a purpose-built solar power station at Peristera.
Additionally, the Peristera NOUS set-up includes a weather station enhancement and a remotely-controlled camera with 360-degree functionality for sea and land monitoring. The Peristera NOUS system transfers data via fibre optic and RF link from the NOUS water unit to a cloud server via a built-in internet connection.
The full-scale implementation of the Peristera NOUS set-up is a pioneering feat of underwater technological engineering and shows the reality of the power of NOUS’ potential.
NOUS Peristera also harnesses the unit’s Artificial Intelligence capabilities and is trained to perceive, distinguish, classify, associate, and perceive significant differences in measurable parameters that take place within its field of view on the ancient wreck site.
Machine Learning algorithms are implemented for intelligent information processing from NOUS Peristera’s images and video streams. All this is accomplished through state-of-the-art methods that implement the customization (training) of neural networks and their preparation for real-time operation.
Conceptual design and implementation of housings and cameras / UW hub, electronics, network and machine learning algorithms by George Papalambrou (NTUA / School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering) and Vasilis Mentogiannis (UFR Team).
Operations and diving support by Kostas Katsioulis (NGUE).
Prototype Installation of a solar-powered system that provides in real time:
-Video streaming from 5 underwater cameras
-Remote controlled land-based survey camera
-Remote controlled weather data and statistics
-Remote controlled solar power, data and statistics
With the support of the MacArtney Subsea Connectors