Excavations at the ancient harbor of Kerpe break the silence of the Black Sea for millennia

Thanks to in-depth excavations, silent secrets buried deep at the bottom of the Black Sea for millennia are slowly revealed.

In 2020, archaeological experts conducted the first underwater excavation in the Black Sea region. They found artifacts dating back millennia and an ancient port town that had existed for 1,500 years.


Excavation of the ancient port of Kerpe

It is known that the excavation site is Kerpe – a small bay on the west coast of the Black Sea, about 100 km (60 miles) from the big city of Istanbul as the crow flies. This place was once a commercial center during the Roman, Byzantine and Genoese periods, a stopping point and safe harbor for ships traveling along the Black Sea coast. Before being sunk to the bottom of the sea, it was a key location in supplying wood, coal and fuel to Istanbul during the Ottoman period.


Many ancient artifacts were discovered

Artifacts found here are up to 2,400 years old. These include amphorae, containers commonly used for transportation in ancient times. After diving to a site about 80 meters (260 feet) from shore at a depth of 4 meters (13 m), the excavation team found the ancient harbor split into two main parts.

Excavations have been and are still taking place under the management of the Board of Directors of the Kocaeli Museum and the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the General Department of Cultural Heritage and Museums. Director of Kocaeli Museum said:

Amphorae are on display at the Kocaeli Archaeological Museum
“We believe that the excavation is extremely valuable in highlighting the trade relationship between east and west from Antiquity to the Ottoman period in the Black Sea. Therefore, we are trying to display the cultural assets excavated during the above process chronologically and with some vivid images in our museum. We identified a wealth of underwater cultural heritage during our excavations, from commercial amphorae dating from the 4th century BC to the 12th century AD, to red-glazed ceramics. , lamps, pipe fragments, various cultural properties of the Ottoman period and shipwrecks”.

We are confident that in the future, thanks to excavations at Kerpe harbor, we will discover fascinating secrets hidden for millennia.

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