One of the founders of the Hellenic Institute of Maritime Archaeology (H.I.M.A.), Georgios Papathanasopoulos, has died, according to the Culture Ministry. The famous Greek scientist was 95.
A graduate of the Athens School of Philosophy and a resistance fighter in World War II, Dr. Papathanasopoulos worked on many digs including the seminal excavations of American archaeologist Carl Blegen at the Palace of Nestor. Papathanasopoulos spearheaded excavations of the Diros Caves, a Neolithic settlement, in 1969 and the restoration of Kalamata’s historic monuments after the devastating earthquake in 1986.
Having served in almost every high-ranking post in Greece related to archaeology, Dr. Papathanasopoulo was the director of the Acropolis Museum, as well among other prestigious positions. In 1975 and 1977 HIMA performed two preliminary surveys of the famous Dokos Shipwreck with Dr. Papathanassopoulos in charge. The famous underwater site is the oldest known shipwreck ever found.
The nonprofit Institute of H.I.M.A. was founded way back in 1973 by Papathanasopoulos, Nikos Tsouxlos, Peter Throckmorton, Charalabos Kritzas and other friends of archaeological research. The mission of the institute was the furtherment of underwater archaeological research in Greece.