Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Ulu Burun Shipwreck: Underwater Archaeology at its Finest Essay

Archaeology is a continuously evolving field where there is a constant stream of new branches and excavation methods. Due to the influx of new technologies and innovations in recent decades, archaeologists have been able to excavate previously inaccessible areas. For example, new diving equipment and tools such as proton magnetometers, side-scan sonar, sub-bottom profiler, and miniature submarines have allowed archaeologists to dive into the deep depths of the ocean. As a result, the branch of underwater archaeology was created to search for shipwrecks and other artifacts on the ocean floor. Underwater archaeology’s role has increased in recent years as it allows archaeologists to more accurately interpret the past by supplementing information gained through traditional land excavations. A prime example of the possible contributions of underwater archaeology is the Ulu Burun shipwreck. The Ulu Burun shipwreck is the remains of a Late Bronze Age (~1600 – 1050 BCE) trading vessel dated to about 1300 BCE. The shipwreck was discovered in 1982 off the coast of Ulu Burun, near the modern city of Kas, Turkey. This fifty-foot long vessel was resting at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea at a depth of approximately 150 feet. Eleven sets of excavations were conducted from 1984 to 1994 in order to deliver the artifacts to the surface for analysis. From this wreck site, archaeologists now have a more detailed and precise understanding about the trade and distribution of commodities in the Late Bronze Age. With very little textual information available from this time period, archaeologists knew very little about the items that were traded, cultures that traded with each other, and the trade routes. The Ulu Burun shipwrecks acts as a time... ...e Late Bronze Age are presented in underwater archaeology. As a result, there should be a greater push for archaeologists to explore more of the ocean in order to learn about the past. Works Cited Bass, George F. "A Bronze Age Shipwreck at Ulu Burun (Kaş): 1984 Campaign." JSTOR. American Journal of Archaeology. Web. 20 May 2012. . Bass, George F. "Oldest Shipwreck Reveals the Splendors of the Bronze Age." National Geographic 1987. Print. Bowens, Amanda. Underwater Archaeology: The NAS Guide to Principles and Practice. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2009. Print. Gates, Charles. Ancient Cities: The Archaeology of Urban Life in the Ancient Near East and Egypt, Greece, and Rome. London: Routledge, 2003. Print. Renfrew, Colin, and Paul Bahn. Archaeology: Theory Methods and Practice. London: Thames & Hudson, 1996. Print.

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