Underwater archaeology research center opens in İzmir

Underwater archaeology research center opens in İzmir

İZMİR – Anadolu Agency
Underwater archaeology research center opens in İzmir

DHA Photo

A new step has been taken in İzmir’s Urla district to boost Turkey’s position in underwater archaeology and to conduct studies on underwater cultural richness, with the opening of the Ankara University Mustafa Vehbi Koç Marine Archaeology Research Center on June 17. 

The center has been established with the support of the Vehbi Koç Foundation and the Turkish Underwater Archaeology Foundation (TINA). 

Koç Holding CEO Mustafa Koç said Turkey was one of the most important countries in the world of archaeology and every step in this field was closely followed by the world. He said underwater archaeology had progressed a long way in Turkey despite limited means. 

Koç said the new research center was of a “global standard,” including a restoration lab, storage, library, a conference hall for national and international studies a 30-person dormitory, and 4-decare area to display maritime technologies from the ancient to the present era. 

“We have lots of expectations from this center, which is considered a first of its kind in Turkey in many senses,” he added. 

Koç noted that excavations in Urla had so far revealed very important findings starting from the Neolithic era, and said the projects of the Vehbi Koç Foundation and his personal close interest in archaeology and the underwater world helped this project to be realized. 

Ankara University Archaeological Research and Application Center Director Hayat Erkanal said they had difficulty reaching education and material when they had started underwater excavations in Limantepe. 

“We have collaborated with the University of Haifa for some time. Then we established a center with the university support and got many artifacts in the excavations, including five ancient harbors. The new center has opened new horizons and we will progress further in underwater archaeology,” Erkanal said.