A Final Destination for the Kızılburun Column Ship?

Project Director - Dr. Donny L. Hamilton
Archaeological Director - Dr. Deborah Carlson
Location - southwest of Izmir, Turkey (Kızılburun)
Discovered - 1993 INA shipwreck survey
Excavated - 2005-present
Period - ca. early first century BC

2009 - TAMU graduate student and three-time Kızılburun team member Kim Rash was featured on the cover of the July/August issue of Archaeology Magazine. Read the online feature.

Highlights - Carlson traveled to Claros (near Izmir) to meet with French architects studying the architectural remains of the Temple of Apollo. Comparison of the unfinished drums from Kızılburun and the finished pieces at Claros suggests a strong probability that the Kızılburun column was destined for Claros. 

After three seasons of excavation of the Roman marble carrier at Kızılburun, the 2008 season was dedicated to researching some of the more 3,000 whole and fragmentary artifacts raised from the site that are currently being conserved at INA’s Nixon Griffis Lab in Bodrum. The artifacts under examination include hundreds of wood fragments preserved under the ship’s cargo—50 tons of newly-quarried white marble carved up into the eight drums and capital of a single Doric column. Texas A&M graduate student John Littlefield is drawing and examining the fragments in an effort to determine if they represent internal support timbers or the actual remnants of the ship’s hull. Kim Rash, another Texas A&M graduate student researching wreck material for her Master’s, x-rayed and casted some of the metal concretions from the wreck, including tools and pieces of the ship’s equipment, Mike McGlin, a recent graduate of Holy Cross, sorted and cataloged many of the Kızılburun ceramics, from transport amphoras to bowls, lamps, and cooking pots. This assemblage of late Hellenistic ceramics promises the best chance of narrowing the date of the wreck, which probably lies some time in the early first century B.C. 

Important Finds
-Large marble blocks, an interesting array of newly-quarried, roughly-finished marble objects such as a small hand basin, pedestals for two larger basins, and uninscribed grave stones.
-Pieces of the ship's gear include two lead anchor collars, a lead sounding weight, and 230-pound lead anchor stock
-Small finds include a variety of Hellenistic ceramics, a worn bronze coin, and a wonderful terracotta herm figurine. (A herm was a kind of personified pillar that served as a boundary marker in transitional areas such as crossroads and doorways; places where underworld spirits were believed to congregate.)

2008 Season
Laboratory analysis and conservation of the excavated materials continues at the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology and the Bodrum Research Center. A return to the field for continued excavation is planned for the 2009 season.

Analysis of Tars Obtained from the Lining of Amphorae on a Roman Shipwreck Using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy