Archaeologists Find a 3,600-year-old Shipwreck Considered the World’s Oldest

Turkish underwater archaeologists discover a 3,600-year-old Bronze Age shipwreck, which could be the worlds “oldest,” filled with tons of copper bullion off the coast of Antalya in southern Turkey reports the Daily Sabah.

The artifacts from the newly discovered ancient shipwreck are set to be put on display at a new museum in Antalya.

The shipwreck, which was most likely an ancient trading vessel dates back to around 3,600 years. It was discovered by divers off the western coast of Turkey’s Antalya and is believed to be the oldest commercial shipwreck that has ever been discovered. The ship was a 14-meter-long trading vessel.

Underwater archeologists discovered the shipwreck loaded with 1.5 tons of copper ingots, at a depth of 50 meters. The discovery was made by the Akdeniz University Underwater Research Centre teams.

The Shipwrecks exact location remains a secret. Image Credit: Daily Sabah.
The Shipwrecks exact location remains a secret. Image Credit: Daily Sabah.

The exact location of the shipwreck remains a well-guarded secret in order to prevent it from being looted.

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“From the typology of the bullion, we determined the shipwreck was one of the merchant vessels of the 16th century BC. We have broken fresh ground in underwater archaeology thanks to these findings,” Hakan Oniz, one of the researchers from Antalya University, revealed.

Divers exploring the remains of the shipwreck. Image Credit: Daily Sabah.
Divers exploring the remains of the shipwreck. Image Credit: Daily Sabah.

While experts have identified the shipwreck, they have still not recovered anything from it. In fact, the researchers determined the ships’ contents using 3D scans of the shipwreck, as well as through sonar surveys, photographic mosaic, and photo-scanning.

“It was probably caught in the middle of a storm while traveling to the Aegean region from Cyprus. It was carrying a cargo of copper bullion and the type of that bullion helped us date the ship. This may well be the world’s earliest vessel carrying industrial goods,” added Oniz.

According to reports, the university is already planning a 5-year project to further explore the shipwreck (dubbed the Bronze Age shipwreck), its contents and area around it.

The previous record holder for the oldest trading vessel ever discovered was also a shipwreck discovered near the coast of Antalya, which was found to date back around 1,400 BC.

Via
Daily Sabah