Museum houses the oldest trading ship known to us with her cargo,
which was raised from the bottom of the sea.
sailed in the Mediterranean during the life time of Alexander the
Great and his successors. She sank in open waters less than a mile
from the anchorage of Kyrenia.
The evidence point to her being taken
by rough seas around the year 300 B.C, when she was rather old.
Katzev of the University Museum of Pennsylvania directed a team to
survey the coast of Cyprus for shipwrecks in 1967. In Kyrenia a
sponge diver took the team to the site. Using a metal detector,
protonmagnetometer and probes, the group spent a month surveying
the site to find the ship and the cargo over an area measuring 60
x 30 feet.
the summers of 1968 and 1969 the expedition consisting of 50 under
water archaeologists, students and technicians employed
stereo-photography and other developed techniques to record the
position of each object before they were raised.
ship's wooden hull which was well preserved in the sand mud was
"mapped" labelled and lifted in pieces to the surface.
in the museum are the original ones carried on her during her last
voyage about 2300 years ago. From them we can learn about the life
of those traders. More than 400 wine amphoras, mostly made in
Rhodes, consist the main cargo, and they indicate that the ship
made an important stop at that island.
other hand, ten distinct amphora shapes on boar show a different
port of call, such as Samos in the north. Another part of the
cargo of the ship was perfectly preserved almonds, 9000 in number,
which were found in jars and also amassed within the ship's hull.
The 29 millstones, laden on over the keel in three rows, were
being transported as cargo, but at the same time serving as
ballast. At the stone quarry, probably on the island of Kos,
masons carved letters of indentification on the sides of these
these it can be assumed that the ship sailed southwards along the
coast of Anatolia, calling at Samos, Kos and Rhodes before
continuing eastwards to her destruction in Cyprus.
sailors fished during the voyage is clear from more than 300 lead
net weights left in the bow. Meals were probably prepared ashore,
using large casserole pot and a bronze cauldrons.
wooden spoons, four oil jugs, four salt dishes and four drinking
cups recovered in the shipwreck suggest the number of the crew on
the last voyage. The ship's single sail had been taken down before
sinking since in the stern were found more than 100 lead rigging
rings from a large square sail stowed there. The wooden hull,
build mostly of Aleppo pine, was preserved for a length of almost
40 feet, originally measured 47 feet long by 14 1/2 across. She
sailed at 4 to 5 knots. The ship was built in the "shelfirst"
manner, quite the opposite of today's method. Rather than building
a skeleton of ribs first, her outer planking up from the keel was
constructed and then the ribs were laid in and these were secured
with cooper spikes. The ship was intended for long service and
underwent many repairs. In the last reparation a skin of lead
sheathing was applied to her body to keep the old ship waterproof.
Carbon 14 analysis of the almonds points to a date of 288 (plus or
minus 62) B.C. and the tees out for the ship planking 389 (plus or
minus 44) B.C. Hence, the ship was more than 80 years old the day
and conservation of the ship began in 1970 and lasted four years.
The great part of reasamblage was completed after the Turkish
Peace Operation and finished in the year 1976. The last
contributions were made in order to finish the project and to open
it as a cultural service for the world. Our thanks are due to the
University Museum of Pennsylvania and other institutions which
gave generous funds for the project and especially to the director
Mr. Michael Katzev and to the members of the project.
the Kyrenia Castle
The Bridge (entrance)
South-west tower (Venetian)
Church of St George
Defence platform (Venetian)
North-west Tower (Venetian)
South-east Tower (Venetian)
Guard House (Lusignan)
Powder-magazine and artillery platform (Venetian)
|7- Hall (Frankish)
Living quarters (Shipwreck Museum)
Sth West Tower (Byzantine)
North East Tower
Artillery platform (Venetian)
Design of the ancient Kyrenia
periods in Cyprus