Marine archaeologists have discovered a sunken 17th century Ottoman ship loaded with a valuable Dutch cargo of plates off the coast of İzmir, Turkey.
Hürriyet Daily News says that the vessel is the latest in a long line of ships found in the area. It has been 13 years since excavations first started in the 6,000 year old settlement of Limantepe.
Twenty archaeologists are working on the site, managed by Professor Hayat Erkanal. The excavations are being coordinated by the Ankara University Underwater Research and Application Center (ANKÜSAM).
Other ships found include the remains of a 7th century BC vessel and a 18th century Ottoman warship.
The archaeologists plan to excavate the ship and then make a proposal to the Culture and Tourism Ministry to exhibit the shipwreck at an archaeological park in the vicinity of the excavation site in Urla. If their proposal is accepted, the ship will be put on display in a specially monitored room, along with its cargo.
Experts say that exhibitions of shipwrecks would be vital in making İzmir a world-renowned centre for underwater archaeology.
Limatepe is a prehistoric settlement which witnessed man’s transformation from hunter gethering to farming. It was also a settlement during the Roman period until it was submerged following an earthquake in the 6th century BC.