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A Byzantine Shipwreck at Iskandil Burnu, Turkey: Preliminary Report

Manuela Lloyd
Thesis: August 1984
Chair: Bass
Nautical Archaeology Program

During the 1981 Turkish underwater survey, the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) in conjunction with Texas A&M University located a large mound of Byzantine amphoras at Iskandil Burnu, marking a potentially important shipwreck site. Since there are no immediate plans for the excavation of this wreck, an analysis of it was made from artifacts raised and site photographs.

The wreck was revisited in 1982 and 1983. Over the three-year period a total of 13 man-hours were spent on the wreck site, two photomosaics were compiled and 16 artifacts, mainly pottery, were raised.

A great deal of information has been learned from a study of this pottery, the photomosaics and observations recorded during dives. During the late sixth- to early seventh-century, a ship about 20 meters long and 5 meters in beam left a port in southern Palestine carrying a main cargo of two types of wine. The number of smaller pottery vessels indicate the possibility of at least two merchants on board, one of whom may have been Jewish, transporting small household containers.

The importance of this study, aside from the new closed deposit of pottery, lies in the conclusion that a shipwreck can be interpreted to a significant extent, by a complete survey and extensive research, prior to its excavation.

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