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The Seytan Deresi Wreck and the Minoan Connection in the Eastern Aegean

Roxani Eleni Margariti
Thesis: August 1998
Chair: Bass
Nautical Archaeology Program

In 1975, a team from the Institute of Nautical Archaeology excavated a pottery assemblage lying at a depth of approximately 30 meters in the bay of Seytan Deresi (Devil Creek) on the Aegean coast of Turkey east of Bodrum.  Despite the absense of ship timbers, the location of the site, the uniform fabric of most of the items, and their distribution on the seabed indicated that the assemblage represented a shipwreck.  The pottery, comprising exclusively coarseware utilitarian vessels, may have served as merchandise containers and/or constituted trade items, whiel some may have held the crew's food and drink supply.

    After conservation and preliminary study of hte material, project director Geroge Bass dated the wreck to the late Middle Bronze Age pointing to Middle Minoan as well as Anatolian influences on the pottery.  While it is trus that none of the Bronze Age analogues constitues an exact parallel of any of the Seytan Deresi ceramics, later periods do not provide any closer counterparts.  Recent excavations have brought to light material that supports a Middle Bronze Age dating and strengthens the case for the possibly Minoan or Minoanizing nature of the pottery.  Additionally, recent work in Eastern Aegean islands substantiates the tradition of colonization and intensive maritime activity by Minoans in the region.  The pottery from Seytan Deresi may have been made in a Minoan settlement of the Eastern Aegean islands or a site on the Anatolian coast where Minoans lived and/or traded.

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