Ancient boats to take journey back in time

Ancient boats to take journey back in time

İZMİR - Anadolu Agency
Ancient boats to take journey back in time

The oldest known ships of the Aegean have been found and they are being built for the archeopark project. The boats will take visitors to a journey through history, which is one of the most charming part of the project. AA photo

An archeopark will be established to exhibit the maritime history of İzmir’s Urla district, where the adventures of mankind with the sea are being enlightened by underwater excavations.

The manager of the Ankara University Underwater Archeological Researches and Practices Center and the director of Limantepe Excavations, Prof. Dr. Hayat Erkanal, said that the land excavations in the İskele region started in 1992. After the finding of traces in the depths of the sea in the photos taken from air, the underwater excavations started in 2000.

The excavations, in which many ports, sunken boats and sunken ships were uncovered, enlightened the marine history and the historical relationship of mankind and the sea. Erkanal explained that there are many traces from 6000 B.C. and from different civilizations. There are also important documents found about the marine history since 4000 B.C. Erkanal said that they were not only carrying out excavations but also working on the construction of replicas of the ancient boats and ships. The first replication completed was a ship from 3500 years ago. “After that we made a replica of a 2600-year-old ship and this was sent to Marseille since 2009 was considered as “the Turkish Season” in France. We have found the oldest known ships of the Aegean and started building those too. The attention to the area is increased with the boats. Last year, even though we could not have an organized exhibition, there were many guests coming from Europe persistently. Almost every day there were groups to see the ancient boats,” said Erkanal.

Tours with the ancient boats

Erkanal stated that there was no other group in the world that was carrying out underwater excavations, examining ports, enlightening merchandise relationships in different eras and making experimental tours with the ancient boats at the same time. Therefore the studies made in Urla were drawing the attention of other countries all around the world and also finding places in many international popular newspapers and magazines. Ankara University has decided to create an underwater archeological research and practice center campus to centralize the studies since there was intense international attention.

“The archeopark will form the most important part of this center. We are going to exhibit both the boats and important materials about the marine history. Besides, we are planning to make short tours for our guests with the ancient boats. This will be a historical tour with the opportunities of the time in the historical boats. This area, which has become a charming center, will draw more attention. Every stage of the relationship mankind has had with the sea can be observed in this center. You can observe the stages from the beginning until the discovery of the steam vessels. The person visiting the center can observe the world marine history from the beginning and will have enough knowledge,” said Erkanal.

The archeopark will consist of the oldest known boat of the Aegean region that is from 6,000 years ago, a 2,600-year-old boat replica, different models from different eras and cultural material about marine history. The foundations of the archeopark will be laid in a month and the opening of the center is planned to be held in the beginning of 2014.