Uluburun shipwreck (tr. Uluburun Batığı) is the most famous part of the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology in Turkey. This shipwreck, dated to the late 14th century BC (Late Bronze Age), was found close to the Uluburun Cape in southern Turkey by Mehmed Çakir - a sponge diver from Yalikavak, in 1982.
Mehmed Çakir made sketches of the objects he had seen underwater that he described as "the metal biscuits with ears”. They were recognised recognized as oxhide ingots by the members of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA). Oğuz Alpözen, Director of the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, encouraged by these sketches, decided to send out an inspection team of the Museum and INA archaeologists to locate the wreck site.
After this first inspection, during the next 10 years eleven expeditions were organized, each lasting 3-4 months. The divers went underwater more than 22 thousand times. They discovered one of the most magnificent collections of Late Bronze Age objects ever located in the Mediterranean basin. The ship was 15 meters long and was built with planks and keel of Lebanese cedar and oak tenons.
Its most probable route was from Cypruss or Syria to Greece and its mission - to deliver the goods to one of Mycenaean palaces. The cargo of the ship included: copper (10 tons) and tin ingots (1 ton), Canaanite jars with traces of Pistacia resin, 175 glass ingots of cobalt blue turquoise and lavender, gold and silver jewelery, weapons and tools, various kinds of edible goods.
The Uluburun shipwreck hall in the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology includes the reconstruction of the ship and the most interesting examples of its cargo as well as the photographs taken during the underwater archaeological campaigns.
The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology is located in the Castle of St. Peter in Bodrum. The venue is open daily from 8am to 7pm (5 pm in winter). The entrance ticket costs 25 TL. Allow at least half a day for the visit!