What ships did ancient Troy have? The question - which interested a lot of VO visitors. And what did the ships of that era look like? After all, it is obvious that the famous Greek triremes, known to us from black and red-lacquered Greek ceramics, have nothing to do with the Trojan period of Greek history! Frescoes from Fera? But they belong to an earlier time … However, there is a place in the Mediterranean, where there are just a lot of ancient ships, and of the most different centuries. This is his seabed! Another thing is that finding them is not at all so easy. Some ships immediately, as soon as they sank, were smashed by waves. Others are covered with sand and cannot be seen from above. Others may be intact, but they lie too deep. So, rare luck and coincidence of circumstances are needed so that divers, firstly, would stumble upon such a ship, and secondly - there would be something to get out there! This also matters. After all, then it can be restored and exhibited in a museum.
St. Petra in Bodrum. View from the shore.
Here, on the pages of VO, I have already talked about a replica of a ship from Kyrenia, which is located in the Museum of the Sea in Ayia Napa, while its actual remains are in the Museum of the Ship in North Cyprus. However, this is not the oldest Mediterranean ship today! The most, the most ancient is located on the mainland, namely in the Turkish city of Bodrum, which is located on the southwestern coast of Asia Minor between the resorts of Marmaris and Izmir. They say that Bodrum is the capital of the "Cote d'Azur" of Turkey, and this is true, but this is not the point now.
St. Petra in Bodrum. View from the sea.
For us, it is much more important and interesting that it was in its place in ancient times that the very city of Helikarnassus was located, which throughout Ecumene became famous for the majestic tomb of King Mavsol, which was first called the Mausoleum. In ancient times, the Mausoleum was considered one of the seven wonders of the world, but it was completely destroyed, and only a few stone blocks from its walls were used in the construction of the fortress walls of the Crusader castle. And then, nevertheless, they found the preserved foundation of the Mausoleum, and miraculously survived statues and reliefs. In the middle of the 19th century, all this was taken to England to the British Museum. Although a part of the city wall of Helicarnassus, several towers and the legendary Myndos gate are still partially preserved.
Map of the place where the "ship from Kas" was found.
But on the promontory in the sea, Cape Zephyrion at the beginning of the 15th century, the knights of the Order of the Hospitallers erected a castle for themselves, which they called the castle of St. Peter. And here, after all the historical tragic collisions in 1973, the museum of underwater archeology was located in it, and if you happen to be there somewhere nearby, then be sure to visit it!
Tools found on board the ship.
There is so much there, starting with finds dating back to the 14th century. BC: these are weapons, coins, and vessels from a Byzantine ship of the Middle Ages. In the hall of the Carian princess Ada, you can admire her tomb and gold jewelry. It is here that the world's richest collection of ancient amphorae of the Mediterranean, the predecessors of containers and cisterns of modern sea transport, is kept. But the main highlight of the museum's exposition is the reconstruction of the Ulu-Burun ship, which sank here not far from the city of Kas at the end of the 14th century. BC. It is interesting that although this ship is small in size, it was raised from the water for as long as 10 years!
The life-size replica of the ship can be seen in detail, starting with a hull made of cedar planks, heavy stone anchors and broken oars. On it, historians have found many treasures in the truest sense of the word. For example, this is a golden scarab with the name of Queen Nefertiti, a stone ax, obviously of ritual purpose, four swords of different shapes, and even ostrich eggs!
Exhibits from the ancient ship and its reconstruction are in the Uluburun Hall, named after a rocky promontory on the southern coast near the city of Kas. Here this ship with all its cargo several thousand years ago just crashed and sank, and all the riches on board went to the bottom of the sea. For many years he lay quietly at a depth of about 60 m, until he was discovered quite by accident …
Deck and steering oars.
And it so happened that in 1983 a local diver, who was fishing for sea sponges and who knew the seabed well, found an unusual accumulation of strange ingots and the remains of a wooden ship. He picked up several samples from the bottom and took them to the museum, where it immediately became clear that these ingots in the form of a sheep's skin were made of copper and that they belonged to the Late Bronze Age, and this ship itself dates back to the 14th century BC.
Hold with copper ingots.
The find immediately aroused extraordinary interest not only among specialists in underwater archeology, but also among ordinary citizens who read about this event in the prestigious National Geographic magazine. It is clear that the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeology after that also attracted the attention of the public, and the number of visitors from different countries in it immediately increased several times. (Here it is an obvious and obvious "conspiracy theory": this was all done on purpose to deceive the gullible readers of this magazine and increase the museum's income!) However, income - income, and with the work of raising the ship was clearly in no hurry. It was carried out in as many as 11 stages, 3-4 months each, and ran from 1984 to 1994.
It was possible to find out that the ship was small in size: only 15 meters long, but carried a cargo weighing about 20 tons. Its body turned out to be quite badly damaged, although some of its parts were preserved very well. It turned out that it was made of cedar boards, which were butt-connected to each other - that is, on pegs wedged from the inside, inserted into holes drilled in the boards. Remains of oars were found, the largest of which was 1.7 m long and 7 cm thick. The ship also found as many as 24 stone anchors weighing from 120 to 210 kg and two small anchors weighing 16-21 kg. It is possible that such a large number of anchors appeared on the ship for a reason. It is possible that they were used not for their intended purpose, but for ballasting the ship, although this is nothing more than an assumption.
Cutaway ship: come in and see.
Finds from the ship made it possible to determine that this ship was a merchant ship from the Middle East, and most likely from Cyprus, and by the time of the disaster it can be attributed to the 14th century BC, that is, it was the oldest sea vessel in the world.
Egyptian scarabs found at the bottom. White and large (top) double-sided enlarged plaster copies. This is taking care of your visitors!
This find was of great importance, as it automatically shifted the history of maritime international trade to the Bronze Age, since the cargo found on the ship: ivory, amphorae, small pottery, household utensils, 10 tons of copper and tin ingots, fine glassware and jewelry from gold - all of this was from Egypt. The ship, apparently, sailed to the shores of Syria and Cyprus, and, possibly, the final destination of its journey was the shores of the Black Sea. It is believed that the cargo could be transported to Egypt, but it is, of course, impossible to determine exactly where this ship sailed.
A piece of the seabed preserved in a museum.
Another piece of the bottom with anchor rods lying on it. Museum of the Sea in Ayia Napa. Cyprus island.
Interestingly, the Bodrum Museum displays not only details of this 15-meter ship extracted from the bottom of the sea and a replica of it, but also shows how its cargo could be located in the hold. There are both exhibits and valuable things from other ships that have survived much worse, but still gave something to science, including from Cape Gelidonya, and from other places on this coast.
Copper ingots in the form of skins.
Dendrochronological studies of the wooden parts of the ship were carried out by Dr. Kemal Pulak from the University of Texas, and they showed an approximate date of its construction - about 1400 BC. NS. It turns out that it is 150 years older than the equally conditional date of the fall of Troy. But this also unequivocally suggests that already at that time the established Mediterranean trade existed.
Blue glass is a raw material for smelting.
Professor Peter Kunicholm of Cornell University conducted a study of the wooden parts of a ship's cargo. Their results indicate that the ship could have sunk around 1316 - 1305. BC NS. This dating is confirmed by the pottery found on board. Such archaeologists find in the layers of the "eclipse of Mursili" in 1312 BC. e., named after the Hittite king Mursili II.
Mycenaean amphorae (copies)
Finds of beads and jewelry.
In total, about 18,000 items were taken from the bottom. Of these, 354 copper ingots weighing 10 tons, 40 tin ingots weighing about one ton, 175 glass ingots. Found fossilized food, just like in the vessels of Tutankhamun's tomb: acorns, almonds, olives, pomegranates, dates. From the jewels they found a gold ring with the name of Queen Nefertiti, as well as a number of gold pendants of various shapes, agate beads, faience beads, silver bracelets, a gold bowl, tiny faience beads fused into a lump, gold and silver scrap.
The stone poleaxe is clearly of cult purpose and has a very interesting shape.