Archaeologists find Bronze Age shipwreck off Turkey’s southwest

Archaeologists find Bronze Age shipwreck off Turkey’s southwest

MUĞLA - Anadolu Agency
Archaeologists find Bronze Age shipwreck off Turkey’s southwest

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Underwater excavations off the western province of Muğla’s Marmaris district have unearthed a shipwreck in the Hisarönü Gulf dating back up to 4,000 years, one of the oldest shipwrecks ever found in Turkish waters.

The work is part of a project initiated in 2007 to reveal Turkey’s underwater heritage, supported by the Development Agency. The project coordinator, Dokuz Eylül University Marine Sciences Associate Professor Abdurrahman Harun Özdaş, said underwater archaeologists, marine physicists and marine biologists were working on the project as part of a 15-person team. 

Özdaş said part of the aim was to take an inventory of shipwrecks in Turkey’s waters, some of which date back 4,000 years. 

“Based on the remains of these ships, the places where they stayed and the objects they left, we make maps. We define this as Turkey’s Underwater Geographic Information System,” he added. 

Archaeologists find Bronze Age shipwreck off Turkey’s southwest

Unique wrecks 

Özdaş said they discovered a very unique Bronze Age wreck 40 meters deep in the Hisarönü Gulf, crowning this season’s work. 

“For the first time in 30 years, a Turkish university has found a wreck from the Bronze Age in Turkish waters. So the first excavation season has finished successfully,” he added. 

Özdaş said the ship sank in the Aegean Sea up to 4,000 years ago after a large storm, making it “one of the oldest wrecks ever found in our water.” 

“The results provide very important data about the history of the region. Conservation of the findings is continuing in the Bodrum Museum. Excavations will also continue throughout 2016,” he said. 

“We have been carrying out the only underwater archaeological research project in the area nonstop since 2007. We have so far discovered more than 100 wrecks and their potential fields. Also, more than 20 underwater harbors and more than 400 anchors from between the Bronze Age and the Ottoman era have been found,” he said. 

He said discovered underwater cultural heritage and ancient shipwrecks had been transferred to Dokuz Eylül University Marine Sciences and Technology Institute’s geographical information system. 

“Along with trade ships, wars ships were also recorded. Last year’s works discovered a wreck carrying glass bullions from the 11th century and they were added to our archive as a different sample,” Özdaş said, adding that the works had unearthed wrecks of ships carrying amphora, tombs, roof tiles, grindstones, brick columns and column capitals.