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UNDERWATER Prepared with the contributions of
TurkDive Center for Diving & Marine Research
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Gelidonya Antique Wreck[ Some Artifacts Found In Excavations ]

A cargo ship, while sailing to the south east of one of the 5 largest islands situated in the southern part of Taslik Promontory, which is the old name for Gelidonya, at the far west of Antalya Bay, crashed into the rocks and began to scatter its goods and shortly afterwards it sank and sat on the rocks on its stern. This wreck, lying at a depth of 26-28 meters, was discovered by a sponge diver in 1954, and after a study dive in 1960, the ship was found to belong to the Bronze Age. One of the important features of these dives is that the excavation was carried out under the leadership of an archaeologist diver with the same standards applied on land.

After the analysis of the bushes and the branches supporting or holding the heavy cargo in situ, it was estimated that the ship sank towards the end of 13 BC Most parts of the ship were destroyed by Teredo sea worms. Planks were attached together with wooden nails used during the Classic Greek and Roman ages in boat construction. The placement of the cargo gave the impression that the ship was no longer than 10 meters, but with the recent findings it is now understood that it was longer than this.

The cargo of the ship was scrap copper and tin ingots that was brought from Cyprus in order to make bronze articles. The importance of the Gelidonya wreck comes from the historical information gathered from the excavation. It is accepted that in the second half of the Early Bronze Age, Myceans held the monopoly of naval trade in the Eastern Mediterranean. Phoenicians then began to adopt naval customs during the iron age. The reason for the dating Homer's Odyssey to 8 B.C. by the 20th Century linguists is that Homer often mentions Phoenician sailors and their bronze work. Furthermore, the Gelidonya Bay wreck excavations pointed to other possibilities.

From the studies carried out in 1994, it was found out that stone anchors were used and so this shows the ship was Middle-East origin. The articles brought out of this ship are exhibited in The Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

Permission of Oguz ALPOZEN, director of The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

A Mycenaen pitcher is being brought up

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