Abstract: The 6th-century BCE Shipwreck at Pabuç Burnu, Turkey

In the first half, probably the second quarter, of the sixth century B.C.E., a ship sank off the coast of Pabuç Burnu, Turkey, southeast of Bodrum or ancient Halikarnassos. Excavated by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology in 2002 and 2003, the vessel’s preserved cargo and hull remains provide evidence for the development of production and exchange systems in the Archaic Period. The circulation of agricultural products in a modest merchant vessel—carrying a load of perhaps six tons—offers a glimpse at a practice of local transport designed to operate in a rather different framework from the exchange of luxury items catalogued by early Greek lyric poets or the markets of Classical Athens. The vessel itself, constructed from planks that were laced together with ligatures, speaks for a locally constructed merchantman in a technological world that stood separate from the triremes of classical navies. The cargo and construction of the shipwreck at Pabuç Burnu fit into a developing commercial environment of standardized production in the Archaic Eastern Mediterranean.

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