The society

AKTES is the Society for the Study of Ancient Coastlines, a scientific society that has been operating since June 2019.

The reason for its establishment was to promote the many years of research by its members on sea level change and its impact on the anthropogenic coastal environment. The acceleration in average sea level rise in recent years, along with the rise in global temperature, is one of the most serious effects of climate change that we are being called upon to face in the coming years.

Our Scope

The study of sea level changes in history and prehistory, the systematic research of coastal geomorphs and landscapes, the geoarchaeological study of coasts, and the understanding of coastlines as dynamic natural and cultural systems, are the focus of our interests. We have developed an interdisciplinary approach based on collaboration across various disciplines, such as geology, coastal geomorphology, archaeology, history, coastal topography, geodesy, and geophysical applications.

The submerged and uplifted geomorphic features and coastal antiquities scattered throughout the Greek shorelines are valuable indicators of the relative sea level changes and the time these took place. AKTES, working with the competent bodies and the published archaeological literature, raises awareness of the recording and interpretation of geoarchaeological data through tracing the coastal landscape along its historical route and reconstructing the dialectic on space and time, history and geography of the coastlines.

The submergence of the coasts of Greece, and of the Eastern Mediterranean in general, implies environmental change in the coastal landscape, marine flooding, shoreline retreat and land loss, with ancient coastal structures being lost under the sea. If the past is the key to the future, correlating past and future sea levels and predicting the rate of sea level rise in the near future are key factors in the planning of coastal infrastructure and imposition of civil protection measures.

AKTES, through the development of research and study projects, organisation of lectures, conferences and seminars, and coordination of publishing efforts, aims to promote these key issues. Our ultimate goal is to create an open online platform that includes indicators of relative sea level change in the Eastern Mediterranean, creating a valuable archive of geoarchaeological data available to the future researcher.