Random Jottings

Antalya, the new graveyard of ancient ships?

Regular readers will know that I have long posted updates on the Antikythera mechanism, well another wreck has been found just off the coat in Turkey which may be just as interesting!

Before I press on a brief re-cap, the Antikythera mechanism was found by divers who excavated the shipwreck at the same place way back and conducted the investigations within the limitations of the time, so hammers, jacks, big crowbars and the like and to be blunt they were looking at obtaining museum quality artefacts rather than an investigation of the vessel itself.

Excavations on this vessel may be different, why? Well to be honest because the museum value of copper or tin ingots is not so great as copies of great and famous Greek sculptures. So for that reason I feel that the excavation will be more measured with less pressure to lift artefacts to deal with the issue, real or imagined of looters.

It is strange that the first inkling that I received on this discovery was on an article on Divernet.

https://divernet.com/2019/04/09/divers-investigate-worlds-oldest-shipwreck/

However there was a link to a very interesting peer reviewed paper written by a more 'august organisation' which contains some more interesting details.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00310328.2019.1579467

Reading through the details there are some interesting snippets with a side-scan showing what you could expect to find on an 'old' wreck in relatively shallow water, useful the world over. Also the photographs show quite clearly the ingots on the unexcavated sea-bed again showing as any diver knows that once you get down to 40m or greater there is very little marine growth and unless there is a strong current and sand/mud sea-bed where a wreck will bury itself over time you could expect to see man made objects, in this case some 3500 years after they were lost, quite amazing.

The R&D article details that there will be more excavations to follow and it will be interesting to see what is found and documented over the next decade or so, providing the crew didn't manage to grab any navigational items maybe the wreck will throw up another early astrolobe which will further increase our knowledge of how our ancient forebearers navigated on the open sea!

Dive safe

RichW

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