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Friday, 03 October 2008 00:00

Uluburun Antique Wreck

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A sunken ship belonging to the Early Bronze Age was discovered in 1982 by a sponge diver 60 meters away from the eastern shore of Uluburun

, 8.5 kilometers to the south-east of Ka?. After the works started in 1984 and thousands of dives were done for 11 seasons, a wonderful cargo that was lost in 14 BC was brought up. The ship was about 15 meters long and was made from cedar trees. The stern of the ship was lying at a depth of 44 meters, and the bow 52 meters away. The cargo the ship was carrying had rolled down to a depth of 61 meters.

In general, the cargo of the ship consisted of raw materials, but there were manufactured materials as well. There were over 100 round and flat cobalt- blue, turquoise and lavender colored raw glass ingots, according to Ugarit and el-Amaran tablets, they were thought to be Mekku and Ehlipakku which were brought from Syria and Palestine shores. Those ingots were the oldest and the most complete glass ingots found. Among the other unique archeological findings were cedar wood pieces and a kind of black wood brought from tropical Africa. The old Egyptians called them Akaju wood. Among some other raw materials are full size and carved ivory pieces, more than a dozen hippopotamus teeth, some kind of small sea snail shells used for fumigation, turtle shells used as a sound box in musical instruments, tile or metal mouths, handles and ostrich eggs that were used to make vases and cups.

At least two are complete, out of five large earthenware jugs, there were tiles for export, old-fashioned oil lamps and other artifacts that were thought to be hung on the walls, but their use is unknown. There were also some silver bracelets, bangles and gold pendants. The origin of a golden glass without a handle is unknown. There were beads made from various materials which included agate, gold, tile, glass and Baltic amber beads. Among the other works of art, there were two duck shaped ivory cosmetic boxes with hinged wings functioning as lids, copper cauldron and bowls, a horn from a hippopotamus tooth, and a lot of tin cups. A rod used in religious ceremonies, and the only other similar one was discovered in Rome.

The bronze weapons on the ship were arrows and spear points, daggers and Italian and Mycenean made swords. Among the cargo and the food, figs, almonds, olives, raisen, seeds of Nigello Sativa, sumach, coriander, pomegranade and one or two wheat and barley seeds were found. Some lead pieces for fishing nets, some weavers shuttles to repair nets, fishing hooks, a fish spear with forks indicate that they fished from their ships.

Although it was difficult to identify the nationality of the ship, it is thought to be of Middle East origin. The artifacts from this ship are on exhibition in the The Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

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