Partner 9: DBCIS (Dipartimento per I Beni Culturali e l’Identità Siciliana, Italy)
This is the arrival point of a development that began with the creation of GIASS (Sicilian Group for Underwater Archaeological Exploration) in January 1999 and, later, of SCRAS (Service for the Coordination of Submarine Archaeological Researches). Since the beginning SCRAS has dealt with underwater archaeological research with an all-round outlook, seeing this discipline not only as a mere exercise of archaeological activity in the water, but as a systematic approach to the culture, the tradition and the history of the relationship between man and the sea. This means that we have not limited ourselves to the treatment of themes, sites and wrecks referring exclusively to older times, but, in line with what is happening in countries where this sector of research is more
advanced, have also dealt with medieval and modern traces, as well as contemporary marine traditions, always bearing in mind that since the most remote prehistory a thin but very evident thread has linked man’s activities near the sea, on the sea and in the sea.
The structure that the Sicilian Region has created for managing research in this sector has already reached a high level of maturity and a satisfactory level of technical equipment. The models that have guided us have been
those of the French DRASM, of the Greek similar Superintendence and the Catalan Tetis. The operational activity has been guaranteed both by a minimum of autonomous technicalinstrumental equipment, but, above all, by the constant help of those that watch over the sea (Customs and Excise, Carabinieri, Harbourmasters/ Coastguard, Police).