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In Photos: 8 Byzantine Empire Era Shipwrecks Excavated in Turkey

on Jan 3, 15 • by • with Comments Off

Archeologists in Turkey uncovered a large group of Byzantine-era shipwrecks in an ongoing excavation in Istanbul’s Yenikapi district. Researchers recovered six round ships and naval galleys in addition to fishing boats, coasters and one large merchant ship. “Never before has such a large number and types...
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Home » Archaeology, Byzantine, Excavation, News, Turkey » In Photos: 8 Byzantine Empire Era Shipwrecks Excavated in Turkey

Archeologists in Turkey uncovered a large group of Byzantine-era shipwrecks in an ongoing excavation in Istanbul’s Yenikapi district.

Researchers recovered six round ships and naval galleys in addition to fishing boats, coasters and one large merchant ship.

“Never before has such a large number and types of well-preserved vessels been found at a single location,” study author Cemal Pulak, of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University, said in a press statement, adding, “Even more fascinating is the fact that we can now trace how ship construction and ship design changed over the course of nearly half a millennium.”

More than just the field-wide thrill of recovering extremely old objects, the find offers archaeologists rare insight into the engineering technology of the day. Some specimens were built shell first while others were built in the modern skeleton-first method. According to researchers, this means shipbuilders made the switch between the 5th and 11th centuries.

“It is through meticulous and time-consuming detective work that we slowly begin to understand how these ships were built, modified, overhauled and used,” Pulak told Live Science.

“By such means we try to understand the minds of the shipbuilders and their design and conceptualization processes in order to better comprehend the history of science and engineering.”

The ships will be displayed in a planned exhibition in Istanbul, although Pulak says he expects restoration to take several years. The study was published in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology.


Source: livescience.com and upi.com

 

Photo 1: The Yenikapi shipwreck called YK 14 was a 9th-century merchant ship, seen here under sprinklers in April 2007. Waterlogged archaeological wood can be severely damaged if it is allowed to dry and so it must be kept constantly wet during its excavation. (Photo courtesy of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University/M. Jones.)

Photo 2: Shipwreck YK 23, eight byzantine shipwrecks
The shipwreck that researchers call YK 23, shown in its original position, in December 2007. (Photo courtesy Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University/İlkay İvgin.)

Photo 3: Shipwreck YK 24 excavation, eight byzantine shipwrecks
Archaeologists from the Istanbul Archaeological Museums work to excavate the shipwreck called YK 24 in July 2007. (Photo courtesy Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University/M. Jones.)

Photo 4:Beams from galley of YK 2, eight byzantine shipwrecks
Cemal Pulak, who is the project director at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, examines deck beams from galley of the ship called YK 2 in April 2006. These beams were found near one end of the ship, and would have also functioned as rowers’ benches. (Photo courtesy Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University/S. Matthews.)

Photo 5:Galley of YK 4 after excavation, eight byzantine shipwrecks
The galley of the ship called YK 4 was split longitudinally shortly after it was excavated. The ship’s bow is in the foreground of this photo, taken in October 2006. (Photo courtesy Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University/M. Jones.)

Photo 6:Tracing the planking of YK 11, eight byzantine shipwrecks
Rebecca Ingram and Michael Jones trace the planking of the ship called YK 11 onto clear plastic film, in October 2008. (Photo courtesy Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University/S. Matthews.)

Photo 7:YK 14 excavation, eight byzantine shipwrecks
Archaeologists from the Istanbul Archaeological Museums excavate shipwreck called YK 14 in April 2007. (Photo courtesy Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University/M. Jones.)

Photo 8:YK 2 galley planks removed, eight byzantine shipwrecks
Pulak oversees the removal of a plank from galley YK 2 in August 2006. (Photo courtesy Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University/R. Piercy.)

Photo 9:YK 11 mapping, eight byzantine shipwrecks
Workers map out the parts of the seventh-century shipwreck called YK 11, in June 2008. (Photo courtesy Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University /R. Ingram.)

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