Archaeologists Make Remarkable 1,500-Year-Old Discovery at Bottom of Black Sea


The results of a 2020 archaeological dive into the Black Sea, the first such expedition into that body of water, have recently been displayed in a new museum exhibition. They reveal ancient artifacts from a sunken harbor town that was once a trade hub, Anatolian Archaeology reported.

Discovered in the expedition was the submerged settlement of Kerpe, located in modern-day Kocaeli, about 60 miles from Istanbul.

Kerpe served as a commercial hub throughout the Roman, Byzantine, and Genoese periods. It was known as a safe harbor for trade ships traveling the Black Sea, and was a main supplier of timber, coal, construction materials, and fuel to Istanbul during the Ottoman age.

The city was constructed approximately 1,700 years ago by colonists of the Megara settlement and was consumed about 200 years later by the rising sea.

Researchers, many of them from Istanbul and Turkey, worked about 260 feet from the shore at depths of roughly 13 feet. They covered an area of 21,500 square feet, which included portions of Kerpe’s ancient dock.

Kocaeli Archaeology Museum

Kocaeli Archaeology Museum

The excavations, which are ongoing in search of more valuable artifacts, are being carried out by the Kocaeli Archaeology Museum under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums.

“During the excavation works, we have identified many underwater cultural heritages, ranging from commercial amphorae remains dating from the 4th century B.C. to the 12th century A.D.,” explained Serkan Gedük, the director of Kocaeli Museum.

Gedük explained that the recovered artifacts, some as old as 2,400 years, included amphorae, the containers commonly used for transport in ancient times. Also found were “red-glazed ceramics, lamps, pipe fragments, various cultural assets belonging to the Ottoman period, and shipwreck remains.”

Kocaeli Archaeology Museum

Kocaeli Archaeology Museum

“We believe that it is extremely valuable in terms of emphasizing the commercial relations between the East and the West, from the Antiquity to the Ottoman period in the Black Sea,” Gedük said. “Therefore, we are trying to exhibit the cultural assets unearthed during the underwater excavations chronologically in our museum.”

The exhibition, entitled “The Silent Harbor of the Black Sea,” is currently on display at the Kocaeli Archaeology Museum.

Kocaeli Archaeology Museum

You Might Also Like