Back from Cleopatra’s Palace

Archeological diver and Aqua Survey employee Eric Wartenweiler Smith recently returned from an expedition in Egypt diving on Cleopatra’s sunken palace as part of renowned underwater archeologist Franck Goddio’s dive team.  Read on to find out his thoughts on:

-Life in post-revolution Egypt

-Tantalizing news on what still waits to be found in the murky depths of Aboukir Bay

-The future of underwater survey technology

Aqua Survey would like to welcome Aqua Survey employee and archeological diver Eric Wartenweiler Smith back from his annual trip to Egypt.

Each year, Smith participates as a member of renowned archeologist Franck Goddio’s dive team. Goddio is responsible for the discovery of Cleopatra’s sunken palace as well as Napoleon Bonaparte’s flagship. Smith has participated in Goddio’s expeditions since 1996.

No stranger to Egypt, Smith wasn’t sure what to expect in returning for the first time to the country post-revolution. “Besides hearing the firsthand accounts of the revolution from my Egyptian friends, and witnessing many demonstrations and marches in the streets as the process of forming a new government unfolds, I was also particularly impressed by the attitude of the people I met in the street; there was a palpable air of national pride and friendliness, and a real sense of energy and purpose in the young people.”

When asked whether this year’s expedition had any interesting finds, Smith smiled and replied, “While I can’t give specific details, I can say that we’ve found some very exciting new discoveries this year. Franck has said before that we have only found 1% of the artifacts out there and I believe it. I’m excited by the ramifications of what these new discoveries will reveal about ancient Egyptian culture.”

Smith has seen a lot of changes in the field of underwater archeology during the past fifteen years. One of the biggest changes he’s observed is in the survey technology used. “The technology that we’re using now has revolutionized what we’re capable of. The tools we were using just a few years ago seem archaic in comparison. It’s interesting to note that the tools that are revolutionizing underwater archeological work are the very same ones that Aqua Survey uses on a daily basis. It’s a very exciting time to be involved in underwater survey work of any kind.”

Although Egypt, its history and its people hold a certain appeal to Smith, he’s happy to be home and looks forward to getting back in the field with Aqua Survey.