The Roman Column Wreck at Kizilburun, Turkey - 2005 Season - Part 2

The Roman emperor Augustus claimed to have found Rome a city of brick and left it a city of marble. Indeed, the remains of more than a dozen stone cargoes in the shallow waters off Italy, France, and Spain attest to the Roman appetite for specialty stones white marble from Greece and Asia Minor; yellow marble from Numidia; red and gray granite from Egypt.

The vast majority of these cargoes, however, have not been treated as coherent archaeological sites; instead they are only superficially explored, their stones partly or wholly salvaged. As a result, archaeologists know regrettably little about the construction and lading of ancient stone carriers, which must represent some of the most sophisticated technological achievements of the ancient world.

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 a Roman stone carrier wrecked off the Aegean coast of Turkey southwest of Izmir at K?z?lburun ("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 serves as the project director, and assistant professor at Texas A&M University Deborah Carlson as the teams archaeological director. The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism was represented at K?z?lburun by Ilker Tepeköy in 2005, Sinem Özongan in 2006, and Gülnaz Savran in 2007.