19 June 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

3600-year-old lead weights were unearthed in the Kumluca Bronze Age Shipwreck, one of the oldest shipwrecks in the world

Underwater archaeological work continues in the Bronze Age shipwreck off Antalya Kumluca, one of the oldest shipwrecks in the world.

During the underwater archaeological excavations carried out in the Bronze Age shipwreck dated to the 16th century BC, 2 lead weights weighing 22 and 44 gr were found.

The shipwreck, estimated to date back to 1600 B.C., was discovered off the western shores of southern Turkey’s Antalya province, in 2018, by Antalya University’s Underwater Research Department.

About the lead weights used in commercial life 3600 years ago, the head of the excavation, Associate Professor Hakan Öniz said, “We found lead weights that we have never seen among the 350 shipwrecks we have identified so far.”

The 14-meter-long (46-foot) shipwreck was found in a 50-meter depth, with 1.5 tons of copper bullion inside of it.

The researchers used sonar surveys, photo scans, and photographic mosaics to create three-dimensional scans of the bullion on the ship. They were able to determine that the bullion were taken from mines in Cyprus, and then molded in the 15th or 16th centuries B.C.

Akdeniz University (AU) Underwater Cultural Heritage Conservation and Restoration Department Head Associate Professor Hakan Öniz, “It was probably caught in the middle of a storm while traveling to the Aegean region from Cyprus. It was carrying a cargo of copper bullion and type of that bullion helped us date the ship.  This may well be world’s earliest vessel carrying industrial goods,”.

Öniz said, “These copper ingots have an important feature. “If the Egyptians were the dominant power in the region in those days, other states in the region, such as Cyprus or the Minoan palaces or Assyrians, pay their taxes to the Egyptians with these copper ingots,” he said.

Noting that they encountered every form of copper ingot in the shipwreck, Associate Professor Hakan Öniz said: “We have also found clues about how it was made in the 16th century, Mediterranean trade.”

Photo: DHA

Noting that the lead weights, one of which is 22 grams and the other 44 grams, indicate that there was probably a Syrian merchant on the sinking ship, Öniz said, “Probably, the traders go everywhere with their own weights. Therefore, the merchant on this ship travels with lead weights of 22 grams and 44 grams. The merchant, who owns these weights, probably went to different copper mines in Cyprus and collected copper from one mine, for example, 10 ingots, and 20 ingots from another mine, and loaded them onto the ship. What we understand from this is that the business was not only about maritime trade, but that the merchant went around the mines one by one and bought them, perhaps using his own weight units to measure something else.”

Öniz added that they have identified approximately 350 shipwrecks within the borders of Antalya and Mersin during the underwater archaeological excavations they have carried out since 1999.

Cover Photo: DHA

Related Articles

A rare Saint George seal was found during excavations near Suzdal

27 June 2023

27 June 2023

The archaeological survey of the Suzdal Opole, initiated by the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences more...

Young Maya Maize God’s Severed Head found in Palenque

4 June 2022

4 June 2022

Archaeologists from the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), an approximately 1,300-year-old sculpture of the head of the Young...

2000-year-old ancient Roman Road, described as the most important in Scottish history, has been discovered

3 November 2023

3 November 2023

A 2000-year-old ancient Roman road was unearthed in Old Inn Cottage’s garden near Stirling, Scotland. The site is located a...

From Researchers, a New İnterpretation of Norse Religion

26 February 2021

26 February 2021

Recent research on pre-Christian Norse religions shows that the variation in Norse religions is far greater than previously imagined. Ten...

Serbian Archaeologists Unearth Roman Triumphal Arch Dedicated to Emperor Caracalla

24 January 2024

24 January 2024

Archaeologists in Serbia have unearthed an ancient Roman triumphal arch dating back to the third century at Viminacium, a Roman...

1,600-year-old Roman-era wine shop unearthed in Greece

29 January 2024

29 January 2024

A team led by Scott Gallimore of Wilfrid Laurier University and Martin Wells of Austin College discovered a 1,600-year-old Roman-era...

12,000-Year-Old rock art may depict extinct giants of the ice age

13 March 2022

13 March 2022

South America was filled with ice age animals more than 12,000 years ago, including car-sized ground sloths, elephantine herbivores, and...

Poland’s largest megalithic cemetery discovered

3 March 2021

3 March 2021

Archaeologists excavated in Poland discovered a large megalithic complex, including dozens of tombs dating back 5,500 years. The site was...

Funerary urn depicting Maya corn god uncovered during Maya Train work

10 January 2024

10 January 2024

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) conducting salvage work along section 7 of the Maya Train...

A new study provides evidence that modern humans, coexisted in the same region with Neanderthals for thousands of years

11 February 2024

11 February 2024

A genetic analysis of bone fragments excavated from an archaeological site in Ranis, Germany provides conclusive evidence that modern humans...

An 1800-year-old geometric patterned mosaic was discovered in Turkey’s ancient city of Bergama

17 June 2022

17 June 2022

During excavations surrounding the Red Basilica at Pergamon, an ancient city in western Turkey that is a UNESCO World Heritage...

Roman-era structures unearthed in northwestern Turkiye dam site rescue excavations

18 May 2024

18 May 2024

Rescue excavations at the Reşitköy Dam site in the northwestern Turkiye province of Balıkesir have unearthed Roman structures, including a...

Rare bronze hand discovered in Roman Vindolanda, England

11 July 2023

11 July 2023

One of Europe’s most important Roman archeological sites is the Fort of Vindolanda, one of the earliest Roman garrisons built...

4,000-year-old settlement found during Balasore town India

9 July 2021

9 July 2021

A 4,000-year-old settlement and ancient artifacts have been discovered in the Balasore district, India. The Odisha Institute for Maritime and...

An Amazing Discovery in the 1900-year-old Rock Church, – Sand Dollar Fossil

5 March 2024

5 March 2024

Located in the eastern province of Diyarbakır’s Eğil district, the rock church, the walls of which are decorated with different...