Classical Greek Shipwreck at Tektaş Burnu, Turkey

Date - 440 - 425 BC
Depth - 38 - 45 m (125 - 149 ft)
Found by - INA survey, 1996
Excavation - 1999 - 2001
Number of dives - 5,046
Amphoras - 213 

"I will never forget the first time I saw the cliffs at Tektaş Burnu. It was June of 1999 and three of us - Murat Tilev, William Murray, and myself - had been sent ahead as a scouting party to assess the site's livability. What greeted us was a towering wall of razor-sharp, jagged spires of rock separated by deep, dark crevices." - Deborah Carlson *

For three summers between 1999 and 2001 INA sponsored the excavation of a Classical Greek shipwreck off the Turkish coast at Tektaş Burnu. The excavation was supervised by Director George Bass and Assistant Director Deborah Carlson, and staffed by a fabulous team of students, professionals, and volunteers from Turkey, the U.S., Canada, Spain, the U.K., Holland, Israel, and Australia.  

The wreck, which lies along a rugged and remote stretch of coastline southeast of Çesme and west of Sigacik, was located in 1996 during one of INA’s annual survey for shipwrecks. The name of the site, Turkish for “cape of the lone rock,” is derived from the large island of Tektaş Ada, which is located just off the coast, some 100 yards south of the wrecksite. Tektaş Burnu could easily be described as one of the most inhospitable and unforgettable places in the Mediterranean. The cliffs above the wrecksite consist of jagged spires of friable rock; during early visits to the site we found it difficult, if not impossible, to come ashore on foot. During the summer, the site is completely exposed to the northwesterly meltem winds, which often blow all afternoon, and reach gale force during the night. Many nights members of the excavation team lay awake wondering if their little cabanas would be able to withstand the relentless wind.


* Carlson, Deborah. "Cargo from the Age of Bronze: Tektaş Burnu, Turkey," in "Beneath the Seven Seas," edited by George F. Bass, pp. 64-71. New York and London, 2005.

Additional Resources

Tektaş Burnu website