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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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