In 2018, a wreck carrying pillow-shaped copper ingots was found off the shores at the Kumluca District of Antalya.

This shipwreck, which can be dated to 16th–15th B.C., probably belongs to a merchant vessel that sank as a result of hitting the shore during a storm. Ingots typology, making it one of the earliest known merchant ships. Work on the vessel, which sank in ancient Lycia, began in July and August 2019 with the permission of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism, under the chairmanship of the Antalya Museum Directorate. The Akdeniz University, Mediterranean Civilizations Research Institute/Mediterranean Underwater Cultural Heritage Research Department team headed by Assoc. Prof. Hakan Öniz participated in the excavation with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) team headed by Prof. Dr. Cemal Pulak. The teams worked from the ARKEO Scientific research vessel of Akdeniz University and the INA research vessel Virazon 2. A sample of ingots was removed from the shipwreck and one of the ingots was found to be marked for shipment: an early example of such signs, many of which were seen in the Late Bronze Age. XRF analyses conducted by Antalya Conservation and Restoration Laboratory show that the samples taken from pillow and bun-shaped ingots of the main cargo are copper. The archaeological studies conducted in 2019 on the Bronze Age shipwreck in Antalya Kumluca focused up in situ documentation, with a small number of samples excavated with the permission of Turkey Ministry of Culture in order to gain more information about the wreck. In the studies, the latest technology and current methods were applied and the margin of error was minimized. The works on this important shipwreck will be pursued in the following 5 years.


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