The Maritime Archaeological Research Laboratory (MARELab) of the University of Cyprus (Department of History and Archaeology) was founded in 2011, aiming to serve as a dynamic venue of educational activities and interdisciplinary research on Maritime Archaeology.
MARELab is the only institution in Cyprus able to conduct underwater archaeological investigations: one survey (Xylophagou Anchorage Project) and two full excavation projects (the Mazotos Shipwreck and the Nissia Shipwreck) are currently ongoing, whereas a reconnaissance survey was carried out in 2013 along the northwest coastal front of Paphos. Parallel to the underwater surveys, two funded research programmes are running: (i) Sailing in Cyprus through the Ages, a digital documentation of the nautical landscape of Cyprus in antiquity, and (ii) KARAVOI, Mapping, Documentation and Digitisation of the Ship Graffiti on the Medieval and post-Medieval Monuments of Cyprus.
In all MARELab projects, on land and underwater, particular emphasis is given to the implementation of digital methods for data recording and mapping. A special team of associates works exclusively on the digitization of archaeological data, the upgrading of the existing software and their optimization in order to meet the needs of archaeological documentation and interpretation. 3D applications have been extensively used both as integral part of the fieldwork documentation and as tools for archaeological interpretation.
MARELab has its own infrastructure for the storage and processing of the data collected during field projects. It also has all the basic equipment necessary for underwater research. Part of this equipment has been donated by the THETIS Foundation, whereas the rest of it and the RIB was bought with the University of Cyprus funds.
MARELab has a wide network of collaborations, including the Nautical Archaeological Society (Britain) and many Cypriot institutions: the Oceanographic Center of the University of Cyprus, the Department of Antiquities, the Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics at Cyprus University of Technology and the Cyprus Institute.