Stories From The Hidden Harbor

Shipwrecks of Yenikapı

Zeynep Kızıltan
Gülbahar Baran Çelik



CATEGORY: Archaeology
Byzantine Studies
PAGES: 219
SIZE: 24 x 29 cm.
EDITION: 1. Print, June 2013
HARDCOVER ISBN: 9789751736703

A publication by the Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Koç Foundation, Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations and Koç University Press

In 2004, the İstanbul Archaeological Museums started large-scale salvage excavations at Yenikapı within the scope of Marmaray-Metro projects. For the first time in İstanbul,s history, archaeological excavations were conducted at one of its Byzantine harbors. When the excavations started, it was not known what this ancient harbor at the mouth of the Lykos (Bayrampaşa) River would yield. At first, Ottoman remains were encountered in the excavation area, which covers over 58,000 square meters. Then, one of Constantinople,s most important, and the world,s best known harbors, the Theodosian Harbor, was reached only 1 meter below sea level.

During the ongoing excavations, countless small finds and works of architecture were unearthed. In addition to wood and rope fragments, an unexpected find, a shipwreck, was found in 2005. As the excavation area expanded, a total of 37 ships dating between the 5th and 11th centuries were brought to light. Among the finds are very well preserved small and large merchantmen, as well as galleys from the Middle and Late Byzantine periods, which have been found for the first time. The Yenikapı wrecks constitute the largest collection of shipwrecks ever found together.

Another surprise was waiting for the archaeologists 6,3 meters below sea level: İstanbul’s oldest settlement. This Neolithic settlement dates back 8000 years and changes the writing of Istanbul’s history. The footprints of İstanbulites who lived there thousands of years ago were found a few meters below.

As the excavations go on uninterrupted, we have now acquired much new information about the city. This exhibition has been prepared in light of the finds from Yenikapı and their scientific study. It presents a section of the city from its first inhabitants to the present, and allows a multidimensional view of trade, seafaring, shipbuilding technology, and everyday life in Constantinople through four wrecks that were found together with their cargo.

A publication by the Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Koç Foundation, Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations and Koç University Press


Foreword / Ömer M. Koç

Preface / Zeynep Kızıltan


Yenikapı Excavations And Trade In İstanbul in Antiquity / Rahmi Asal

The Harbors of Byzantine Constantinople / Paul Magdalino

The Harbor of Yenikapı in the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic Periods / Öğül Emre Öncü

The Shipwrecks of Yenikapı and Their Contribution to the Study of Ship Construction / Cemal Pulak, Rebecca Ingram, Michael Jones, Sheila Matthews

A New Milestone in Ship Archaeology: The Yenikapı Shipwrecks Project / Ufuk Kocabaş, Işıl Özsait-Kocabaş

The Centuries-Long Voyage 0f Ship Yenikapı 12 / Işıl Özsait-Kocabaş

Yenikapı 3: A Merchantman Carrying the Past / Ayşegül Çetiner

The Coins from Antioch in the Theodosian Harbor: The Hoard of Bronze Coins from the Reign of Justinian I / Sedat Öztopbaş


Neolithic Period/ Mehmet Ali Polat

Greek and Roman Period / Öğül Emre Öncü

Byzantine Period / Öğül Emre Öncü, Mehmet Ali Polat, Sırrı

The Gold Coin Hoard of the Yenikapı Shipwrecks / Sedat Öztopbaş

Animal Skeletal Remains Dıscovered at the Metro and Marmaray Excavatıons / Vedat Onar

Ottoman Period / Nilüfer Aydın

YK 35 / Mehmet Ali Polat

YK 3 / Gülcan Kongaz, Feza Demirkök, Özlem Korkmaz Kömürcü

YK 12 / Asuman Denker, Feza Demirkök, Gülcan Kongaz, Mine Kiraz, Özlem Korkmaz Kömürcü, Tuğçe Akbaytogan

YK 1 / Asuman Denker, Feza Demirkök, Mine Kiraz, Tuğçe Akbaytogan



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