Half a century has passed since August 1967, when the diver Andreas Kariolos re-discovered the ancient shipwreck of Kyrenia from 1965, about a nautical mile northeast of the port of Achaia City of Kyrenia on the northern coast of Cyprus, with the almonds and amphoras still in his viscera.
Beyond the emotional value and symbolism of hope and return that this ancient shipwreck has for all Hellenism, it also has huge and universal archaeological value. It is the best preserved ship in the world of the Hellenistic period (323-30 BC). It was discovered by the diver Andreas Kariolos in 1965 under very unfavorable weather conditions and was relocated in 1967, while the first dives started in August 1968, with its assembly being followed at the castle of Kyrenia where it is still today.
In an interview with the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), Glafkos Kariolos, the son of the diver Andreas Kariolou, who identified the ancient shipwreck and former Mayor of Kyrenia, stressed that “it is forbidden” to leave the Kyrenia ship at his mercy Turkish invader, while referring to the effort made, based on four axes, for the timeless display of the value of the wreck. Mr. Kariolou stated that “starting with Cyprus, it is a ship that shows our roots, shows the Hellenistic period”. Mr. Kariolos said that the value of the boat is also reflected in the fact that it is depicted in the coins of the ten and fifty euros, thus traveling across Europe. “There are too many notations, it is the ship of hope of our return back to our ancestral lands, but it is also a tool of enormous study,” he added. He noted that “apart from our own symbolism, there is no way that any university, with a field of martial archeology, may not make a great deal of reference and teach the students about the ancient ship of Kyrenia, which is the oldest best preserved ship in the world.”
He remembered his father, “who was a very busy person, had a diving shop, was a municipal councilor, was a lemon producer and had the first diving school in Cyprus and since 1955 – 60 taught the world how to dive with autonomous devices.”
“I was also very close to the sea and when he discovered the wreck for the first time, he was under unbelievable weather, alone, forced to follow the anchor of the boat he was passing by and passed by the amphorae. He could not let his ship be destroyed, nor let the wreck leave, so by following the anchor he reached a distance of one and a half kilometers, and he put the marks, but when he went back when the storm ended, he could not find it, since the marks he had had reached the surface, ” said Glafkos Kariolos.
He said that in order to relocate the wreck, it took his father two years and more than 400 dives. “In 1967 my father relocated it and it was right on top of him, and so the state was given an amphora and the archaeologist, Savvas Karagioris, was immediately summoned, and so unfolded a very moving story, which for him was something between dream and reality,” said Mr. Kariolos. He added that “when I first came in when my father found the shipwreck, it was fantastic to touch objects you know that some people were holding two and a half thousand years ago.”
Mr. Kariolos said that to this day we continue with the same emotional charge “and we hope to spread the message to the next generations. In this way, our souls will be able to see this thing ending, perfecting, that is, releasing Cyprus from a country that possesses it,” said Glafkos Kariolos and wished “the Kyrenia ship, Kyrenia – Freedom , Now docked in Limassol Marina, to sail, pass Kormakitis, pass Karavas and Lapithos and dock under his brother’s ship under the castle of Kyrenia.”