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World’s oldest shipwreck found in Mediterranean, say officials

Christian Fernsby |
A ship dating back some 3,600 years has been found off Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

The shipwreck, found by the Akdeniz University (AU) Underwater Research Center teams, is reported to be oldest in the world.

Antalya Governor Münir Karaloğlu said that the 14-meter-long shipwreck was carrying 1.5 tons of copper ingots.

“This discovery is the Göbeklitepe of underwater archaeology,” he said, referring to the earliest known temple found in Turkey’s southeast.

A press conference was held about the new discovery on April 8 in the Kaleiçi Marina with the participation of Karaloğlu, AU Rector Professor Mustafa Ünal, AU Underwater Research Center director associate professor Hakan Öniz and underwater photographer Tahsin Ceylan.

Ceylan took the underwater images and photographs of the new discovery, which is also called the Bronze Age shipwreck.

The shipwreck is estimated to remain off the western coast of Antalya, but its exact place was not revealed to prevent it from being plundered.

Hailing the discovery as a “breakthrough,” the governor said, “Akdeniz University has an underwater research center in Kemer.

As a result of the work carried out by the team headed by Öniz, we say that it is in the west of Antalya, but we cannot say the exact location at the moment.”

“If we tell the exact place, unfortunately, it is very likely to be plundered.

“It is the oldest commercial shipwreck that has ever been discovered according to experts.

“The oldest shipwreck before this one is the Uluburun shipwreck in Antalya’s Uluburun.

“It dates back 1,400 years.

“The artifacts found there are now on display at the Bodrum Underwater Museum.

“This one is 200 years older than the Uluburun shipwreck.

“It dates back to 1,600 B.C.

“We are talking about a shipwreck from the 1600s.

“It is 14 meters in length and it has 1.5 tons of copper ingots,” he added.

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