What we Do
The PERICLES program is based on the assumption that people’s relationship with the sea on Europe’s shores is multifaceted, timeless and crucial in shaping their culture. The cultural heritage (CH) that has evolved over time is an important element for the development, cohesion and prosperity of these areas.
In this context, PERICLES aims to: a) achieve an in-depth knowledge of the maritime and coastal cultural heritage b) develop practical tools based on stakeholder engagement for cultural heritage mapping, risk assessment and mitigation that tackles, enhancing sustainable development and increasing employment through the exploitation of its assets; (c) acting as an advisory body to improve the integration of Cultural Heritage in key maritime and environmental policies and the implementation of relevant EU directives, and d) contribute to the development of effective relevant knowledge exchange networks.
A multidisciplinary consortium of research institutes, universities and cultural heritage management bodies has been set up for the implementation of PERICLES, which together with partners and social groups covers a wide range of approaches and interests.
The Greek brunch of PERICLES’s work focuses on fisheries cultural heritage. In Greece, rich fishing traditions have evolved over time, which have largely defined the identity and way of life of coastal communities, but also supported local economies through fishing and fish processing. These communities created a distinct and multi-faceted fisheries heritage, with tangible and intangible dimensions. The rapid environmental, economic and social changes that have taken place in recent decades have led to major changes in the composition of the country’s coastal fishing communities and threaten these long-standing traditions.
The aim of the Greek participation is to record the fisheries cultural heritage of the NE Aegean (from Strymon to the Evros estuary, as well as on Thassos and Samothrace islands) utilizing archaeological, historical, anthropological and biological methodologies and approaches. Archaeological fish bones, ancient and Byzantine written sources, more recent archival sources as well as modern testimonies in the form of photos, stories, songs and more are used in combination to document the material and intangible culture of the region’s coastal communities and make it known to the global research community.
The program places particular emphasis on the involvement of local communities (fishermen, local government, education, restaurateurs, tourism, fish processing, etc.) in collecting information, knowledge and other evidence related to local fishing traditions and in preserving them in order to continue and renew those traditions. The fishing history of the region, the valuable knowledge and skills developed over the centuries as well as the connection with the place, the sea, and the unique identity that has developed will come to the fore of PERCLES’s work.