EXCAVATION: 2005-2008

The Kızılburun Column Wreck was first located in 1993, on one of INA’s annual shipwreck surveys directed by Dr. Cemal Pulak. At the time of discovery, the only diagnostic artifact visible was a Lamboglia 2 amphora resting against one of the column drums. The presence of this amphora, though not clearly associated with the stone cargo, suggested that the wreck might date to the second or first century B.C. The Column Wreck is one of at least five shipwrecks in the immediate area, which include a fourth-century B.C. amphora carrier, two Byzantine wrecks, and a Medieval millstone wreck.

In 2001, a second team – this one under the direction of INA’s Tufan Turanlı – returned to Kızılburun for several days as part of the Shipwrecks of Anatolia project. In the process of photographing and sketching the visible remains, divers identified a large scatter of artifacts that included black glaze bowls, oil lamps, transport amphoras, and a small copper handle. The discovery of three additional Lamboglia 2 amphoras in association with the drums seemed to strengthen the possibility that the wreck dated from the late second or first century B.C. The presence of a Doric column on a shipwreck of the second or first century B.C. is particularly interesting because at this time architects seem generally to have preferred the Ionic and Corinthian orders to the Doric.

Since 2005, an international team of archaeologists, staff members of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, and graduate students from the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University have been pursuing the excavation of this Roman stone carrier wrecked off the Aegean coast of Turkey southwest of Izmir at Kızılburun (“Crimson Cape”). This ship was transporting all the elements of a monumental marble column, in the form of eight individual drums and a single Doric capital. INA president Donny Hamilton served as the project director, and assistant professor at Texas A&M University Deborah Carlson as the team’s archaeological director. The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism was represented at Kızılburun by Ilker Tepeköy in 2005, Sinem Özongan in 2006, and Gülnaz Savran in 2007.

Relevant Bibliography

Carlson, D.N. 2008. “Late Hellenistic or Roman Ship Excavation at Kızılburun, Turkey,” in J.P. Delgado, ed. “Nautical and Maritime Archaeology, 2006-2007 Seasons,” American Journal of Archaeology 112: 320-321.

Carlson, D.N. 2007. “An Uplifting Summer: The 2006 Excavation Season at Kızılburun, Turkey.” the INA Quarterly 34.1: 3-10.

Carlson, D.N. 2006. “A Monumental Cargo: The Roman Column Wreck at Kızılburun, Turkey.” the INA Quarterly 33.1: 3-10.

Daniel, J. 2006. “An Egyptian Amphora from the Kızılburun Shipwreck.” the INA Quarterly 33.1: 13-14.

Trego, K. 2006. “An Uninscribed Marble Grave Stele from Kızılburun.” the INA Quarterly 33.1: 11-12.

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For a complete list of INA Projects see more.