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The Egadi Islands Survey: A Partnership between Marine Ecology and Underwater Archaeology

Derek Smith

Although collaborative efforts between archaeologists and ecologists are not common, these two seemingly disparate disciplines often strive to answer the same research questions. Archaeological and ecological methods used to quantify study sites are often times complimentary and have the potential to create a much more comprehensive and cohesive synthesis. At the Egadi Islands site, ecological data are being used to help determine how anthropogenic influences such as bottom trawling have shaped the distribution of artifacts as well as the extent of damage being done to artifacts by bio-corrosion. Archaeological artifacts and data are being used to study long-term biological community trajectories, how the deposition of cultural material record influences ecosystems, and how deep reefs in the Mediterranean may serve as “refugia” for species at risk in shallower habitats.

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The Battle of the Aegates Islands (241 B.C.)

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