Huge Trove Of Shipwrecks Reveals Secret History Of Shipbuilding

byzantine shipwrecks

A remarkable trove of ancient shipwrecks unearthed in Turkey is yielding new insights into shipbuilding as it was practiced more than a thousand years ago in the Eastern Roman (or Byzantine) Empire.

Since 2004, archaeologists from the Istanbul Archaeological Museums have discovered 37 shipwrecks during excavations in the Istanbul’s Yenikapi district. Now, eight of the wrecks–including vessels dating from the 5th Century to the late 10th Century–have been described in a new paper.

And it’s a big deal.

“Never before have such a large number and types of well-preserved vessels been found at a single location,” study co-author Dr. Cemal Pulak, associate professor at Texas A&M University’s Institute of Nautical Archaeology, told The Huffington Post in an email. “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.”

(Story continues below photo.)

Researchers mapping the 7th Century YK 11 in June 2008.

The eight shipwrecks include six round ships and two long ships, or naval galleys. The other ships discovered in the district include small fishing boats, small- to mid-sized coasters, and a very large ocean-going merchantman.

For the study, the researchers looked carefully at the —> Read More Here


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