Northern Cyprus Travel Review Day 5 - Part 3: The old Shipwreck in Girne!

in blog •  16 days ago

Hallo dear blog readers,

here is the next travel review of my round trip through Northern Cyprus. In this part I want to give you more information about the old ship wreck in the harbour fortress of Girne and I will show you some photo impressions.

This room was used as guardrooms during the Lusignan period. Now the space is used to show the wreck of an old trading ship, belonging to the Hellenistic Period, and her Cargo:

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The evidence point to her being taken by rough seas around the 300 B.C., when she was 80 years old. She sank in open waters a mile from the anchorage of Girne.

The objects in the museum are the original ones, carried on her during her last voyage about 2300 years ago. From them we can learn about the life of the traders.

400 wine amphorea made in Rhodes and 10 made in Samos consist the main cargo, and they indicate that the ship made stops at those island. Another part of the cargo of the ship was perfectly preserved almonds, 9000 in number, which were found in jars and also amassed with the ship's hull. The 29 millstones, laden on over the keel in three rows, were being transported as cargo, but at the same time serving as ballast. At the stone quarry, probably on the island of Kos, masons carved letters of identification on the sides of these stones. From all these it can be assumed that the ship sailed southwards along the coast of Anatolia, calling at Samos, Kos and Rhodes before continuing eastwards to her destruction in Cyprus.

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That the sailors fished during the voyage of clear from more than 300 net weights left in the bow. Meals were probably prepared ashore using jugs and four drinking cups recovered in the shipwreck suggest the number of crew on the last voyage. The ship's single sail had been taken down before sinking since in the stern was found more that 100 lead rigging rings from a large square sail stowed there.

The wooden hull, build mostly of Aleppo pine, was preserved for a length of almost 12.15 meters, originally measured 14.30 by 4.40 across. She sailed at 4-5knots. The ship was built in the "shellfirst" manner, quite the opposite of today's method. Her outer planking up from the keel was constructed and then the ribs were laid in and these were secured with copper spikes. The ship was intended for long service and underwent many repairs. In the last reperation skin of lead sheathing was applied to her body to keep the old ship waterproof.

Analysis of the almonds points to a date of 288 (plus or minus 62) B.C. and the trees cut for the ship planking 389 (plus or minus 44) B.C.

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Best regards and hear you in my next article!

Jonas - @future24

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It's always neat seeing old ships and the remenants they left behind.

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