Excavation Work at the Shipwrecks

Among the thousands of artifacts unearthed in the Yenikapı Excavations, 37 shipwrecks are considered as the world’s largest medieval shipwreck collection and provides priceless information about Byzantine Period seamanship, maritime trade and ship building technology. Dimensional greatness of excavation area, at the same time being found world’s largest medieval shipwreck collection, made a tremendous impact on local and international media and public opinion as well as the academic world by making the studies most important project of recent times.

Istanbul Archaeological Museums conducted a joint project with Istanbul University (total 28 shipwrecks) and Institute of Nautical Archeology (INA, total 8 shipwrecks) continuing scientific research on the shipwrecks.  Assoc. Prof. Ufuk Kocabaş, head of the Department of Conservation of Marine Archaeological Objects who undertook the projects directorate on behalf of the Istanbul University and a team of IU academicians, full time experts and IU undergraduate-postgraduate students are continuing their work on shipwreck documentation, excavation and conservation since the year 2005. Istanbul University’s team documented and excavated all of the shipwrecks after 7 years of field work. These shipwrecks are very important because of unique information they provide about Byzantine ship typology, ship building techniques and this technology’s revolution.

Yenikapı salvage Excavations started at the end of the year 2004 and after finding the first shipwreck in 2005 total 37 shipwrecks were found until the year 2013. Istanbul University’s team field work continued between the years of 2006-2012. In the time being, 28 shipwrecks were lifted from the field with special techniques and various documentation techniques carried out. Scientific researches continue to work on shipwrecks at IU Yenikapı Shipwrecks Research Center.