Millennia-old sunken ship could be world’s oldest, researchers suggest
Hurriyet Daily News, 05-09-2014
The port at Urla is one of Turkey’s rare underwater excavation sites. There, experts say, a sunken ship estimated to be 4,000 years old is one of the oldest in the Mediterranean. Underwater excavations led by Ankara University’s Research Center for Maritime Archaeology (ANKÜSAM) have uncovered sunken ships ranging from the second century B.C. to the Ottoman period in İzmir’s Urla district.
A recent excavation uncovered a ship estimated to date back 4,000 years, which experts say would make it the oldest sunken ship to have been discovered in the Mediterranean. Urla Port is one of Turkey’s rare underwater excavation sites. Professor Hayat Erkanal, the head of Limantepe excavations for the underwater ancient city of Klozemenai and director of ANKÜSAM, said the port dates back to the seventh century B.C. Klozemenai, he explained, was a coastal town, making it the home of many sunken ships from different eras. An earthquake in the eighth century left the city underwater. He said the team is currently working to determine the features and correct age of its most recent shipwreck find. There are two other sunken boats that compete for the title of the world’s oldest, Erkanal said. The Uluburun shipwreck, found off the coast of Kaş, is around 3,500 years old, while the sunken ship of Hatshepsut, the fifth pharaoh of Ancient Egypt’s 18th dynasty, is dated to be around 150 years older. “If we confirm that the sunken ship [we have found] is 4,000 years old, it will be a very important milestone for archaeology,” Erkanal said.
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