26 January 2023 The Future is the Product of the Past

New Findings from 3,000-year-old Uluburun shipwreck: Uzbekistan Nomads Supplied a Third of the Bronze Used Across Ancient Mediterranean

A new study of the 3,o00 years old Uluburun shipwreck revealed a complex ancient trading network during the late bronze age.

In the year 1,320 BCE, a ship sailed from modern-day Haifa carrying copper and tin, the two metals required to make bronze, the era’s high technology. The ship was scuttled in a storm, and when it was found in 1982, it had become the largest Bronze Age collection of unprocessed metals ever discovered and a superbly preserved, international treasure of marine archaeology.

The new research called the “Uluburun shipwreck” revealed that while two-thirds of the tin onboard was mined in the Taurus Mountains within the vast Hittite empire, in modern-day Turkey, one-third came from mines thousands of miles away in Uzbekistan.

This origin, the study authors say, reveals a complex system of trading routes that moved tons and tons of material thousands of miles to the Mediterranean’s multicultural marketplaces.

Photo: Cemal Pulak/Texas A&M University

After years of investigation, advances in geochemical analysis have enabled researchers to determine that much of the tin on the ship (roughly one-third) came from an ancient mine in modern Uzbekistan, thousands of miles away from where the ship sank. According to the researchers, this discovery suggests that intricate trade networks stretched across Central Asia and the Mediterranean as early as the Late Bronze Age.

“Miners had access to vast international networks and — through overland trade and other forms of connectivity — were able to pass this all-important commodity all the way to the Mediterranean,” says Michael Frachetti, a study author and an archaeologist at Washington University, according to a press release.

The terrain between the Muiston mine in Uzbekistan and Iran and Mesopotamia would have been a mix of rugged ground and mountains, no doubt filled with potential bandits, making it extremely difficult to transport tons of heavy metal.

“It’s quite amazing to learn that a culturally diverse, multiregional and multivector system of trade underpinned Eurasian tin exchange during the Late Bronze Age,” Frachetti said.

Tin from the Mušiston mine in Central Asia’s Uzbekistan traveled more than 2,000 miles to Haifa, where the ill-fated ship loaded its cargo before crashing off the eastern shores of Uluburun in present-day Turkey. (Map provided by Michael Frachetti)

Adding to the mystique is the fact that the mining industry appears to have been run by small-scale local communities or free laborers who negotiated this marketplace outside of the control of kings, emperors or other political organizations, Frachetti said.

“To put it into perspective, this would be the trade equivalent of the entire United States sourcing its energy needs from small backyard oil rigs in central Kansas,” he said.

When the Uluburun wreck was discovered in the 1980s, experts were baffled. They simply didn’t know how to track down the source of the metals aboard the ship. However, for the first time in the 1990s, the idea of using tin isotopes to figure out where the tin in ancient artifacts came from emerged. While the required analytical methods remained inconclusive for a long time, advances in recent years have allowed scientists to begin tracing tin artifacts to specific mining sites using their unique chemical makeups.

The Uluburun ship’s tin’s isotopic composition was compared to that of tin in deposits around the world, and the results showed that about one-third of the metal came from the Muiston mine in Uzbekistan.

Washington University

Banner
Related Post

21 Copperplate Inscriptions discovered at Ghanta Matham in India

14 June 2021

14 June 2021

During excavations at Ghanta Matham in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh,  important 21 copper plates for the Mallikarjuna Swami...

Maltaş Temple Revealed

10 August 2021

10 August 2021

Phrygian Valley, 10 meters high monument with Phrygian scriptures inscriptions on it discovered. The unearthed Maltaş monument is actually the...

A pendant with a figure of St. Nicholas found in the Ancient Church Hidden in Turkish Lake

7 October 2022

7 October 2022

Underwater archaeological excavations and research, which were started 8 years ago in the basilica located 20 meters off the lake...

Archaeologists may have found the lost 2,000-year-old ancient city of Bassania in Albania

19 June 2022

19 June 2022

Polish archaeologists may have discovered the 2,000-year-old lost city of Bassania in Albania. The remains of two large ancient stone...

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...

A rare 3,300-year-old bronze helmet reaching the present from the Hittite Empire era

17 July 2022

17 July 2022

The 3,300-year-old bronze helmet, which was unearthed during the 2002 excavations in Şapinuva, one of the important cult centers of...

When the waters receded, the mounds of Pulur Sakyol and Yeniköy, bearing the traces of Kura-Aras Culture, came to light

8 December 2021

8 December 2021

The important cultural areas of Pulur Sakyol and Yeniköy mounds, which bear the traces of Kura-Aras Culture, represented by kurgans...

Fossil of a hominid child who died almost 250,000 years ago discovered in South Africa

8 November 2021

8 November 2021

A team of international and South African researchers uncovered the fossil remains of an early hominid kid who died almost...

To The West of Turkey Ancient Quarry Found

28 March 2021

28 March 2021

Turkey is very lucky in terms of ancient settlements. It is home to many unexplored artifacts, along with well-preserved ancient...

During roadwork in Oregon, a woolly mammoth tusk was discovered

21 June 2021

21 June 2021

A 12,000-year-old woolly mammoth tusk was discovered beneath the street by crews rerouting a gas line in Corvallis, Oregon. “Whenever...

1400-year-old artifacts discovered in the ancient city of Uzuncaburç (Diocaesarea)

26 January 2022

26 January 2022

During the excavations carried out in a tower in the ancient city of Uzuncaburç (Diocaesarea) in Mersin province in the...

New evidence for the use of lions during executions in Roman Britain

9 August 2021

9 August 2021

Archaeologists have discovered an elaborate key as proof that wild animals were employed as execution vehicles in public arena events...

Construction Workers Discovered Ancient Sarcophagus in Turkey

2 March 2021

2 March 2021

On Monday, reports said that during excavations in the Seyitgazi region of Eskisehir Province in northwestern Turkey, municipal staff unexpectedly...

The Rock Tombs Found by Chance in the Al-Hamidiyah Necropolis

12 May 2021

12 May 2021

A series of rock tombs carved into the slope of a mountain have been discovered in the Al-Hamidiyah necropolis on...

The earliest known depiction of biblical heroines Jael and Deborah was discovered at a Jewish synagogue in Israel

8 August 2022

8 August 2022

The earliest known depiction of biblical heroines Jael and Deborah was discovered at a Jewish synagogue at Huqoq in Israel,...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *