Hundreds of items from the world’s oldest-known seafaring ship – believed to be from around 1,300 B.C. – discovered off the coast of Turkey and excavated by members of Texas A&M University’s Institute of Nautical Archeology are on display in a first-of-its kind showing at New York City’s legendary Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The exhibit, “Beyond Babylon: Art, Trade, and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C . ,” displays priceless items that represent a time capsule of Bronze Age art and culture and are on view in the United States for the first time, says George Bass, Texas A&M professor emeritus of nautical archeology who helped catalog and archive many of the artifacts.
The more than 350 items retrieved from the wreck – often referred to as the Uluburun, because it was in that region of southern Turkey where it was found in about 140 feet of water – show the intricate art work of some of the world’s earliest civilizations. The ship was carrying a full cargo, and Bass says it’s believed the items came from Africa, Syria , Cyprus , Greece , northern Europe and other areas.
“It (the shipwreck) was true globalization in its earliest form,” he explains.