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Five civilizations on one ship

On the sea trade routes along the southern coast of Turkey, sank, for various reasons, many ancient ships. The death of one of them — trade, 20 meters long, loaded with valuable goods and products, was, I think, a great loss for the inhabitants of the Eastern Mediterranean. It happened in the XIV century BC, the traces of the disaster was discovered by a Turkish sponge diver. Mehmet Chakram 70 metres from a rocky shore near Cape St Burun, at a depth of approximately 45 meters. The young diver reported this to his captain, as well as that he saw on the bottom and strange “metal biscuits with ears.” The discovery was reported to the Turkish archaeological Museum in Bodrum, where she was very interested. Apparently, at the bottom lay copper ingots, manufactured by ancient Cypriots — the main suppliers of copper in the bronze age. Copper billets already talked about very ancient age dead ship. Divers from the Museum visited the shipwreck in 1983 and made sure that, starting from a depth of 42 meters and spreading 20 meters below the underwater slope, lay the remains of the ship, almost completely closed bottom sediments. They saw also projecting straight rows of copper ingots in the amount of 84, six huge jugs like from the fairy tale “Ali Baba and the forty thieves,” in which the thieves were hiding, and dozens of amphorae, presumably, ananienko origin. Preliminary investigation confirmed that the Cape found the oldest known in marine archaeology ship with countless treasures. A few years ago, a joint American-Turkish archaeological expedition, funded by the National geographic society of the United States, was able to begin studying the remains of the ship and lifting the finds. It was led by Professor George bass. Quite a considerable depth, according to the Professor, saved the ship from looting and preserved its cargo to the present day. But at the same time, the depth greatly hindered the underwater work of archaeologists. Divers in full gear to be at such a depth is allowed a very short time. Barely beginning work, divers discovered about two hundred copper ingots, which were, presumably, the main burden. The ingots were made in the shape of a cowhide with a “leg” or “handle” in each of the four corners. The weight of each was about 30 lbs. Must be an ancient ship cracked under the weight of 6 tons of copper — enough with the alloy with tin to make weapons for a small army. Amphorae also contained a lot of cargo. They were found about 100. In most of them there are remains of yellow resin — arsenic sulfide. Similar resin was found in Egyptian tombs, it was used for painting. Some amphorae were filled to the brim with glass beads. The cargo of amphorae may ananienko origin dates from the XIV century BC — that is, the late bronze age. Gradually removing from the site of the shipwreck of the silty-sandy sediments, using hydroejectors, divers made hundreds of finds. However, before raising them, it was necessary to fix everything on the map. Mapping the ship with stereophotos was hampered by the steep slope on which it lay. I had to resort to methods of triangulation and measuring tape. The map of excavations, where the line of the ship’s keel was marked, gave archaeologists the opportunity to systematically and consistently explore the areas of occurrence. For lifting heavy objects, the same copper blanks, divers used rubber bags, which were inflated in the air, creating a lifting force. And on bottom, alongside excavation, for divers imposed filled with air “telephone booth” — transparent glass dome — underwater mini-house, to divers could to speak with colleagues on the surface or shelter itself in emergency cases. Base divers were the ship “Virazon”, anchored directly over the excavation. From the bottom raised as 6 large jugs-pythos height of 1.8 m. Images of such huge jugs are found in the drawings of the Egyptians in the XIV century BC from one pythos divers took 18 items, mostly small jugs and bowls with arched handles. Dishes were clearly from Cyprus, because unlike the potters of the Eastern Mediterranean period of the bronze age, Cypriot masters did not use the Potter’s wheel, and the vessels were not quite symmetrical. Soon copper, tin, and glass has increased the ivory elephant’s Tusk length is 20 cm, and next to it were found several silver bracelets, the sword of the Canaanites: and a gold pendant in the form of a Falcon holding in its claws a snake. Procurement of raw materials on Board the deceased ship, along with Cypriot dishes and amphorae of the Canaanites, weapons and jewelry — weight it had to do with the civilizations of the Mediterranean and said that the ship was going from East to West. Perhaps he was waiting in Greece or Egypt, where all the semi-finished products immediately turned into tools, weapons, jewelry and household utensils. A very significant discovery, in the literal sense of the word, was 16 stone anchors, each weighing 270-360 kg. They are talking about the solid carrying capacity of the ship. Such anchors have never been found during the excavations of ancient ships. In ancient Syria and Cyprus anchors were used as a building material. Under the anchors found many bronze axes, Crescent blades, Tesla, ballast stones. Below lay the well-preserved remains of the ship’s hull. It was made of fir planks, each about 25 cm in width and 5 cm in thickness, bonded to each other and with the keel with grooves and tongue and groove connections-the pegs are made from very durable wood. It was the same construction method that was applied and the aircraft of the IV century BC, raised about Kyrenia colleague George bass Michel Ketavim in 1967 — 1969. By the end of the fourth excavation season, the number of findings raised and catalogued near Ulu Burun was 1224. It was an impressive collection of objects from different cultures of the Mediterranean. It included various types of weapons, utensils, tools, gold and silver jewelry. Especially valuable were found for the first time scarabs — Egyptian origin, made of ivory, decorated in gold and covered with ornaments of hieroglyphs. On one of them remained the inscription: “Nefertiti”. The connection with Egypt was also indicated by the discovery of several trunks of black African tree, which grows in the territory from Sudan to Mozambique and Angola. This is the same tree from which the bed, chair and bench in Tutankhamun’s tomb are made. Some of the findings could fairly accurately indicate the age of the ship. So, quartz cylinder seal from someone’s personal signature is dated to 1350 BC, the Merchants rolled a seal on a clay tablet, leaving their indelible mark. There are three figures on this seal, perhaps gods, going to someone fourth, perhaps to the king. The seal has Golden edges and could be worn, probably, as a decoration. It is very similar to the seals of the cashiers, the rulers of Babylon of that era. For two years, painstaking work was carried out to preserve and study the raised historical and cultural values. All findings, according to the laws of Turkey, remained in the country and were sent to permanent storage — museums. Whose ship was it, after all? The researchers did not get an exact answer to this question. At least, we can say with certainty that the ship were people of different nationalities, who accompanied their goods in the trade “cruise” along the shores of several ancient Mediterranean countries. The ship was heading West along the rocky coast of southern Turkey. The storm sent him down. And only underwater archaeologists have revealed the secret of his death, giving historians the most extensive of the so far found collections of objects of the disappeared civilizations of the bronze age.

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