Bronze-Age Ship With Cargo Fit for a King

Malcolm Billings reviews the astonishing holdings of the Museum of Underwater Archaeology at Bodrum, Turkey.

A unique archaeological treasure, recovered from the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, will soon be on display for the first time at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology at Bodrum, Turkey. The find, made in 1982, is a treasure ship that sank at the height of the Bronze Age thirty-four centuries ago.

The ship and her cargo are well protected by the walls of the fifteenth-century Crusader castle at Bodrum. The dressed stones of the castle are themselves an artefact of the ancient world. A survey carried out during the 1960s and 1970s by the Danish archaeologist Dr Christian Jeppesen revealed that much of the castle is constructed using materials from one of the seven wonders of the ancient world – the fourth-century BC Mausoleum. Tumbled and ruined by earthquakes, the Mausoleum of King Mausolus became a convenient quarry for the Knights of St John of Jerusalem when they started to build their great Crusader castle on the coast nearby in 1402.

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