Experts from Istanbul Archaeological Museums excavated and delivered the shipwrecks which were protected with a tent system that was equipped with a spray watering system to keep the ships wet. After creating suitable conditions to work, the shipwrecks were studied with detailed cleaning and documentation phases. In all these phases, physical contact was avoided with the ship that had a high deteriorating state, for this purpose, work was continued by installing bridge and scaffold systems over the shipwrecks. Documentation work was conducted in a very detailed way to provide reference for the reconstructions to be made in the future, determine Yenikapı shipwrecks’ present conditions and their place in ship building technology. Uncovered shipwrecks were documented sequentially by labeling, photography, drawing, inventory and catalog phases.
Labels were attached sequentially, for floor timbers from the stern toward the bow, for planking according to the starboard or port sides with the keel as the reference. Abbreviations of ship parts and ordinal numbers were used for coding.
Every phase of the work was documented with general and detailed photography. Also different phases of each shipwreck, for example the amphora carrying loaded state, with planks, without planks and without framing system, was documented with photo-mosaic technique. Photo-mosaic is made by combining approximately 100 and 300 photographs in computer environment which taken with the help of a special mechanism.
In Situ Plan and Cross-Section Drawings
For plan drawings, two techniques; Triangulation and Total Station were used. Triangulation method applied at the beginning of the work was made with the measurements taken from the reference points situated on the stabilized pillars of the protective tent that set over the shipwreck which made it possible to put meters on numbered reference points. These points on the shipwreck were measured by drawing meters which get in balance with the help of a plummet from three main reference points and added in to the scaled plan.
A drawing method supported by the Total Station device came into use correspondingly with the increase in the number of shipwrecks on the site. Points on the wreck were measured with the Total Station device instead of a meter and they were integrated with the AutoCAD program to get a 3D drawing.
Ceiling and Planking Drawings in situ
When the floor timbers and futtocks were removed, planking was copied on clear acetate in full scale. For this purpose, acetate folios were laid on the planking and details were marked with colored permanent pens.
- Inventory and Catalog
With a work parallel to in situ and full scale drawings, all the inventory of ship members and catalog notes were saved in pre-made templates.