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Bodrum Museum of Archaeology

 

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Bodrum Castle

Bodrum PanaromaThe Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeology
Bodrum1 Castle (Bodrum Kalesi)
   

Turkish MInistry of Culture and TourismIn 1962 the Turkish Government decided to turn the castle into a museum for the many underwater findings in the ancient shipwrecks in the Aegean Sea. This has become the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, with a vast collection of amphoras, ancient glass, bronze, clay, iron items. it's the biggest of its kind devoted to underwater archaeology. Most of its collection dates from underwater excavations after 1960.

These excavations were performed on several shipwrecks :

  • Finike-Gelidonya shipwreck (12th c. BC) : 1958 - 1959; first underwater dig in Turkey, showing that Near Eastern merchant ships played a much greater role in the Bronze Age than previously known.
  • Bodrum-Yassiada shipwreck (Byzantine, 7 th c. AD) : 1961 - 1964 ; Roman merchant vessel with 900 amphoras.
  • Bodrum -Yassiada shipwreck (Late Roman, 4th c. AD)
  • Bodrum-Yassiada shipwreck (Ottoman, 16th c. AD) (dated by a sixteenth-century 4-real silver coin from Seville (Philip II) )
  • Ṣeytan Deresi shipwreck (16th c. BC)
  • Marmaris-Serçe harbour shipwreck (glass, 11th c. AD) : 1977; amazing collection of Islamic glassware
  • Marmaris-Serçe harbour shipwreck (Hellenistic, 3th BC)
  • Kaṣ-Uluburun shipwreck (14th c. BC) : 1982 - 1995; 10 tons of Cypriot copper ingots; one ton of pure tin ingots; 150 glass ingots; manufactured goods; Mycenaean pottery; Egyptian seals (with a seal of queen Nefertiti) and jewelry
  • Tektaṣ glasswreck (5th c. BC): (1996-2001)

The former chapel houses an exhibition of vases and amphoras form the Mycenaean age (14-12th c. BC) and findings from the Bronze Age (around 2500 BC). The many commercial amphoras give a historical overview of the development of amphoras and their varied uses.

The Italian Tower houses in the Coin and Jewelry Hall a large collection spanning many centuries.

Another exhibition room is devoted exclusively to the tomb of a Carian princess, who died between 360 and 325 BC.

The collection of ancient glass objects is one of the four biggest ancient glass collections in the world.

Two ancient shipwrecks have been reconstructed : the Fatımi ship, detected as sunken 935 years ago, and the large Uluburun Shipwreck from the 14th century BC.

The garden inside the castle is a collection of almost every plant and tree of the Mediterranean region, some of which have a mythological significance: the myrtle was dedicated to Aphrodite; the shadow of the plane tree was sought after by kings and noblemen, as it was thought to strengthen one's health.

   
   

About the Museum

The Bodrum Castle officially became a museum in 1961 with Mr. Haluk Elbe as its first Director, but its real though unofficial beginnings go back a little further, to 1959, when the first appropriation of Turkish government funds (equivalent to about US$50.00) was received in Bodrum for preliminary repairs of breeches in the castle walls. The first collection of objects retrieved from the depths was stored and exhibited in 1959 in the Knights' Hall which today gives access to the Carian Princess exhibit. This embryo of the Bodrum Museum included amphorae brought by Bodrum sponge divers as well as objects recovered during the exploratory dives made by Peter Throckmorton, Mustafa Kapkin and Honor Frost in 1958, the year when those pioneers planted the first seeds of scientific nautical archaeology.

When the Bodrum Castle was designated as a museum it was little more than a romantic ruin attractive only to those interested in traces left by medieval crusading knights on the Anatolian shore. For that story click (THE CASTLE). Castle restoration projects and the beautification of grounds were started by the first director, Mr. Haluk Elbe, whose name has been given to the art gallery at the entrance to the museum. But it is the director, Mr. Oguz Alpozen, (retired in july 2005) who deserves credit for implementing the "living museum" concept which attracts hundreds of thousands visitors and which has earned international renown and recognition in the form of the Museum of the Year Award. In the present time Bodrum Museum of the Underwater Archaeology is directed by Mr.Yaşar Yıldız .

Fifty-two museums from all over Europe were entered in the "European Museum of the Year Award '95" (EMYA'95) competition; forty-five were declared eligible to compete and twelve went into the final round. The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, representing Turkey, survived the initial selection process, became one of twelve finalists and was awarded a "Certificate of Special Commendation 1995" at the competition finals held on June 10 in Sweden" . Top

History of the Museum

The transformation of a ruined, dilapidated castle into a great museum of world importance was the work of vision, conviction and perseverance and, as is usual with all living organisms, time elapsed between conception and birth. The first seed was sown in 1958 by Peter Throckmorton, an American journalist-diver whose pioneering efforts - brought to fruition by Prof. George F. Bass - inaugurated scientific nautical archaeology. An early and enthusiastic convert to Throckmorton's vision of the castle as a museum was Hakki Gultekin, the director of the Izmir Museum, who brought this matter to the attention of the central government authorities in Ankara. The cause was also championed in the national press by Azra Erhad, a respected academic and the co-translator of such Classical works as the Iliad and the Odyssey into Turkish. These efforts resulted in the first grant of government funds (1959) and the placement of the castle under the jurisdiction of the Bodrum director of education, raising it from the status of an abandoned former prison. The Knights' Hall, with its graceful vaulted ceiling, became the nucleus of the museum-to-be when it became the repository of amphoras previously recovered by Turkish sponge divers as well as of the first artifacts excavated from under the sea by Captain Kemal Aras, Peter Throckmorton, Mustafa Kapkin and Honor Frost, all members of the initial explorations of coastal wrecks.

These early initiatives and continued perseverance were rewarded in 1961 when the Turkish government, by official decree, created the Bodrum Museum in the castle under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture, appointing Haluk Elbe as its first director. It was during his tenure, between 1961 and 1973, that the work of restoration of the ruined castle began with repairs of the southern walls and of the knights' chapel which had been turned into a mosque by the Ottomans. This venue became the museum's first exhibit hall to be opened to the public (1963) at which time it housed the Mycenaean Collection, artifacts of the Mycenaean period excavated on the Bodrum peninsula near the village of Dirmil. During these years the Knights' Hall was also properly restored and assigned to house the Carian or Classical Collection while artifacts recovered from the sea were exhibited in an adjunct building to the west. Haluk Elbe also planted many of the trees and shrubs that today make the grounds of the castle so attractive. He is commemorated by having the Haluk Elbe Art Gallery at the entrance to the castle named in his honor.

After the departure of Haluk Elbe, under directors Nurettin Yardimci (1973-1975) and Ilhan Aksit (1976-1978), the pace of restoration of the castle and the development of the museum slowed down, with the significant exception of the English Tower which was repaired in 1975. It was resumed and accelerated with the appointment of Oguz Alpozen to the museum directorship in 1978.

By the time he was appointed museum director Oguz Alpozen had already been associated with the museum in one capacity or another since 1962 when, as a student, he participated in the underwater excavations under the leadership of George Bass. In later years, until 1971, he took part in these excavations both as a qualified diver and as a commissioner representing the Turkish Ministry of Culture, so when he assumed the directorship of the museum he was already a champion of underwater archaeology. Realizing that this new field of science was of immense value in uncovering the mysteries of the past, and determined to keep the results of the excavations in Bodrum, Alpozen prevailed upon the authorities to re-designate the museum as the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

With this stress on the nautical archaeology role in mind Alpozen then proceeded to complete the restoration and beautification work started by Haluk Elbe making additional venues available for the exposition of artifacts recovered from the sea. This emphasis also allowed the museum to cooperate more closely with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) which, with its academic and financial resources, was able to continue making trail-blazing underwater excavations which drew world-wide attention to Bodrum. Finds, such as the "Oldest Known Shipwreck", became known not only in specialist circles but also among the wider public due to reports in the prestigious National Geographic magazine making the Bodrum museum a prime attraction for visitors from all over the world.

Just when these stunning underwater discoveries and recoveries were being made fate intervened to redress the balance, directing everyone's attention once again towards treasures still buried beneath the earth. In 1989 an earth-moving backhoe, digging for the foundations of a new building, brought to light a sarcophagus containing the remains of a clearly wealthy woman and excitement reached a peak when preliminary scrutiny indicated that these may belong to Queen Ada of the Hecatomnid dynasty that included Mausolus, the renowned ruler of Caria. The fascinating story associated with this find and the befitting venue created for its display will be found in the exhibits section detailed elsewhere on this site.

Another intervention of fate took place in 1993 when excavations in front of the English Tower brought to light the remains of prisoners chained together in the manner known to have been used for galley slaves. These unknown victims of past cruelty and callousness had been discarded in the castle's trash pile, so they called for more humane remembrance. They were given a place, and they were assigned the sad but illuminating posthumous task of giving the passing visitor reason to pause and reflect on this blemish on the romantic and partisan picture all too often painted of medieval knighthood in the West.

Even the most instructive, impressive or rare relics of the past, however, fail to captivate unless displayed in a manner that makes them appealing to the viewer, and this is the field in which the Bodrum Museum excels. Convinced that museum items must be displayed in a relevant context in order to attract and keep public interest, Oguz Alpozen directed the creation of graphic tableaux which brought life and meaning to objects that normally would hold only the interest of scholars. Care has also been given to the ambiance of the totality of the museum - including the grounds and facilities - with the result that it has become a place where it is a pleasure to be, and it is this novel and creative approach that places the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology among the finest museums in the world. To the extent possible we have tried to convey the sense of the museum in the various sections of this site, but virtual reality cannot recreate the fragrance of flowers or the gentle caress of the Aegean breeze. Top

Departments of the Bodrum Archaeological Underwater Museum

Amphora Park

The amphora vividly illustrates the ingenuity of mankind in every age. Faced with the problem of storing and transporting goods of various kinds in ships, and limited by the materials available at the time, clay was formed into shapes appropriate for the job at hand. Used in great numbers, amphorae were produced in many places around the rim of the Mediterranean and each producer was identifiable by the design, a fact of tremendous value to today's archaeologists and historians who are thus able to trace trading patterns of the ancient world. Some of the trade routes of the Mediterranean, deduced - among other indicators - from the locations where certain types of amphorae were found, are illustrated on the wall of the Amphora Park.

These vessels, ubiquitous in antiquity, were used as containers for wine, olive oil, olives, grains, almonds and numerous other staples and bulk goods. Modern technology allows today's researchers to identify the contents of an amphora even when these goods have left only traces inside the vessel, permitting the investigator to describe the cargo carried by a ship when found as part of a shipwreck. If found on land, the contents of a house larder or a warehouse can also be identified.

The shapes of amphorae vary from long and slender to virtually spherical. Cnidian, Coan, Rhodian and even Carthaginian amphorae are on display, having originated in Cnidus, Cos, Rhodes and Carthage and finding a resting place in the Bodrum Museum. Some were found on land, but most were retrieved from the shipwrecks excavated to date, from the "container ships" of antiquity. The pointed or knobbed bottoms and oblong shapes permitted the amphorae to be closely packed, or stacked, in the holds of ships, with matting placed between the amphorae to prevent breakage. Matting or shoring with twigs and other materials (the progenitors of Styrofoam of today!) was also used to cushion the amphorae from the hull of the ship. The design characteristic that permitted the stacking allowed loads of a great number of amphorae to be carried, sometimes well over a thousand, making voyages profitable and permitting loads of mixed cargo.

There are many sources for detailed information about amphorae available to all who are interested and the details are indeed fascinating. For example, amphora handles are embossed with the sign of the manufacturer, the symbol of Rhodian origin being a rose, of the Coan a crab, and of the Cnidian a bull's head.

The collection in the Bodrum Museum is displayed in the Amphora Park, on the ground floor of the Snake Tower and scattered throughout the castle grounds. It should be noted that the first artifacts to be deposited in the castle when it was just an embryo of a museum were amphorae recovered from the sea by Bodrum sponge divers. Top

Carian Princess Hall

The Carian PrincessThe Carian Princess exhibit evokes the last days of the ancient greatness of Halicarnassus, the capital city of Caria and the site on which today's Bodrum stands. It is a reminder of the Hecatomnid dynasty that ruled Caria from ca. 392 B.C. until the city fell to the Macedonian armies of Alexander the Great, a disaster from which it never recovered. It is a tribute to the memory of Ada I, a ruler deposed by her own brother and reinstated by the conqueror whom she had adopted as her son.

The beginnings of this exhibition go back to April 1989 when a construction crew digging the foundations for a new building came upon a buried ancient structure. Since the construction site was located near to a known necropolis (cemetary) of the ancient city of Halicarnassus, the excavations were being carried out under the supervision of archaeologists of the Bodrum Museum, and it is they who investigated the uncovered structure to discover a burial chamber with an intact sarcophagus containing the remains of a human female. In the space between the burial chamber and the sarcophagus was a funereal wine decanter (oinochoe) with black glazing. As the well-preserved interred skeleton was surrounded by gold jewellery and ornaments, it was immediately clear that the deceased was a woman of wealth, and preliminary dating placed the remains as belonging to the Late Hellenistic-Early Roman period. This caused great excitement in Bodrum since it suggested that the remains may belong to the last Hecatomnid ruler of ancient Caria, Ada I.

This thrilling find and its possible historical importance triggered detailed research into the period and initiated proceedings very rarely resorted to by archeologists: forensic reconstruction of the head of the deceased using the skull as the foundation. This science, excelled in by the Department of Forensic Science of the University of Manchester Medical School, has been successfully applied in several criminal investigations of otherwise-unidentifiable victims. The painstaking reconstruction of the head was carried out by Dr. Richard Neave and his team in collaboration with Dr. John Prag of the Museum of Manchester University and the result, now on display in this Hall, shows a woman whose facial features would not look out of place in a group of women native to this area. Based on the investigation of the teeth, performed by Dr. D.K. Whittaker of the Department of Basic Dental Science, Dental School, University of Wales College of Medicine, the age of the deceased at death was estimated at 44 years, with a possible range of 38-50 years, the estimate confirmed by the Pathologist's Report of Dr. R.W. Stoddard.

The scientific investigations have not proven - or disproven - conclusively whether the disinterred remains are truly those of the Carian queen, but there is no doubt that they belong to a person of consequence, a woman of the noble or ruling class, and it appears to be more than likely that she was indeed a Carian princess, and not impossible that she was Ada I of the Hecatomnid Dynasty. The rich and delicate gold jewellery and ornaments that grace her figure as she may have appeared greeting guests in her banqueting hall evoke a regal hostess about to entertain her equals some 2400 years ago. At the very least the tableau probably closely approximates how the deposed Ada appeared to Alexander of Macedon when he paid her a visit in Labranda, before his troops conquered Halicarnassus and reinstated her to rule over Caria.

The exhibition of the Carian Princess was created and opened to the public in 1993 with the support of the Turkish Ministry of Culture, the Center of Administration of Circulating Capital Funds of the Ministry of Culture, the Directorate for Documentation of Monuments in Izmir, Dr. Richard Neave and his team from Manchester University, Dr. John Prag, Keeper of Archaeology of the Museum of Manchester University, Sun Med Holidays, Go Turkey, the Bodrum Lions Club and John and Alison Simpson. Top

The English Tower

The English Tower, also known as St. Catherine's Tower and Lion Tower, stands at the south-west corner of the castle looking out over the sea. Its construction was financed by contributions solicited in England, at least some of which were made in response to a campaign authorized by the Pope who issued indulgences to the contributors. A copy of one such Grant of Indulgence issued in 1414 to Sir William FitzHugh and his wife Dame Margery is preserved in the Museum of the Order of St John in Clerkenwell, London. The tower is regarded as one of the most important well-preserved historical monuments built by the English outside England.

The three-storied tower is built on solid bedrock. Its lowest floor originally held dungeons which are now used for storage, but of the greatest interest to the visitor is the hall reached through the northern entrance which is surmounted with the Royal Arms of King Henry IV of England, the arms of six other male members of the Plantagenet Royal Family and the coats-of-arms of noble English families, the chief contributors to the building fund. Among these are such distinguished names as Westmoreland, Percy, Stafford, De Vere and others known in English history.

Beyond this entrance is the refectory beautifully restored after the depredations of time and the destruction that the tower suffered from French bombardment during the First World War. The medieval aura of this chamber is enhanced by hanging banners, arms and armor and other ornaments that illustrate the period. Included also are banners used by land and naval forces of the Ottoman Turks to whom the castle was surrendered in 1523, showing the evolution of the Turkish flag to the present. This hall, redolent of the romance of the Middle Ages, is used on special occasions for banquets at which the guests are served by castle staff dressed in medieval garb while listening to the strains of period music. A great banner with the arms of Sir Thomas Docwra, the English knight who was the Captain of the Castle in 1498-1499, forms an impressive background and helps to create the proper ambience for this living reminder of the past. Top

Late Roman Shipwreck

Just off the west coast of the Bodrum peninsula, southwest of an islet called Yassiada, there is a submerged reef appropriately referred to by some as The Ship Trap. About A.D. 626, in the reign of Emperor Heraclius, when the Persians and the Avars were laying siege to Constantinople, the capital of the East Roman Empire, the reef claimed another victim, a small ship bearing in its hold a cargo of nearly a thousand wine amphorae. For more than thirteen centuries the shipwreck lay on the seabed until it was discovered by Kemal Aras, a Turkish diver, who then showed it to Peter Throckmorton, an American photo-journalist and diver in 1958. Throckmorton investigated the wreck and reported:

"We found the area of the cabin-galley, clearly distinguishable because of roof tiles and different types of pottery scattered in a ten-foot area. We brought up samples of every kind of pottery we found: bowls, small jars, and the two types of jars in the main cargo. We were very careful not to disturb the galley area or to dig too deep, because this was a shipwreck of a period never before investigated, the time of the beginning of the Byzantine Empire."

The shipwreck was excavated in a scientific manner between 1961 and 1964 by a team headed by George Bass, with Oguz Alpozen, the current museum director, joining the team in 1962. The wreck lay on a slope ranging from 32 to 39 meters below the surface and was dated by gold and copper coins found among the artifacts. When closely examined by experts the ship was shown to have been built using the ancient shell-first method below the waterline and the modern frame-first technique above the waterline, with the ship's pine planks fastened to its elm frames by iron spikes. The vessel carried nine iron anchors, two placed on the sides of the bow and seven resting on deck just forward of the mast. It is believed that the ship was steered by sweeps extended on its aft quarters and it probably carried only one sail.

The exhibit on display today is a replica of the ship's stern section reconstructed with new timber and positioned in such a way as it probably was when it first rested on the bottom after sinking, before breaking up due to the action of its underwater environment. The ship's galley, where nearly all of the personal possessions of those on board were stored, is seen reconstructed in great detail, including an iron grill over a tiled firebox as it was used by the ship's cook. This grill and the iron spikes used for nailing the planking to the frames were all wrought true to their ancient forms by a local blacksmith. The cooking and table ware found in this shipwreck is the largest well-dated collection of ceramics from the seventh century, including the earliest examples of glazed Byzantine pottery. Also found in the galley area were twenty-four terra-cotta oil lamps and several copper vessels as well as the tools of the ship's carpenter. Lead fishing-net sinkers indicate that the crew supplemented their diet by fishing. The artifacts found are displayed in glass cases in the exhibit hall or, like the cargo amphorae, in situ.

The name of Giorgios Presbyteros Naukleros found on one of the ship's steelyards suggests that this presbyter of the church was the owner/merchant and perhaps also the captain of the ship and it is most likely that the complete set of Byzantine weights - one pound, six ounces, three ounces, two ounces and one ounce - was his property. Since the ship sank quite close to the land it is quite possible that those aboard were able to swim ashore and were saved, but their inability to salvage the ship and its cargo has given us the opportunity to extend our knowledge of the east Mediterranean world in the seventh century.

The replica on display was built by graduate students of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology with the assistance and cooperation of the director and staff of the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Top

Turkish Bath / Hamam

Turkish Bath (Hamam)The Turkish bath is a relatively recent addition to the Bodrum Castle and there is no evidence of any bathing facilities attributable to the era when the Knights of St. John were masters of the fortress. Later records are very rare and include little detail, but Evliya Celebi, a Turkish traveler who visited Bodrum in 1671, specifically notes in his account that there was no bath (hamam) within the castle walls which enclosed the whole tiny, impoverished population of Bodrum. Although the exact date of its construction cannot be firmly established, some purposeful historical sleuthing points strongly to the end of the 19th century as the time when the Bodrum Castle acquired its first Turkish bath. The original facility, which fell into disuse and disrepair following the First World War, was restored to reflect the features of a noteworthy Turkish 'hamam' and was opened to the public in 1991 as an exhibit of a particularly Turkish cultural tradition.

History notes that the first Crusaders did not hold bathing in high esteem Their hosts were riddled with diseases, primarily due to dismal personal hygiene. While the Byzantines continued the Roman bath tradition, though on a much smaller scale, and the Turks under the Muslim strictures of cleanliness developed the Turkish bath, western Europeans were very slow to accept that bathing the body is beneficial, so it is not surprising that no remains of a bath dating to the times of the Knights have been found in the Bodrum Castle.

It is believed that the restored Turkish bath exhibited today was originally built shortly after the castle became a prison in 1893, and its building was probably directed by Hoca Arif Efendi, a scholar of note who was in Bodrum Castle in 1896-97, held under fortress arrest together with Muneccim Hoca Muin, one of the founders of the Istanbul observatory. In his history of Bodrum, Avram Galanti Bodrumlu credits Hoca Arif Efendi with the installation of iron pipes to replace the settlement's open-channel water supply system, so it would seem appropriate that a person of his rank would feel the need of a proper Turkish bath and be in a position to have one built.

The restored bath exhibit illustrates the typical characteristics of a Turkish hamam and includes objects associated with the Turkish bathing tradition. One of its principal aspects is washing in water poured over the body and then drained away immediately after use, a hygienic method that avoids having people other than the bather coming in contact with water once used. Another mark of the hamam is its hot room - the Latin caldarium of Roman baths - where heated air circulates through channels in the floor and in the walls while the surrounding steam and hot water poured over the body open the pores. This preparatory stage permits deep cleansing which consists of an invigorating scrub-down massage with a special rough cloth known as kese wielded by a professional bath attendant called 'tellak'. The dressing room of the Turkish hamam, the apoditerium of the Romans, is not just a changing room but a place of relaxation and cooling off after the ablutions in the hot room. It is also a place of socializing, especially on women's days in public Turkish baths (or in separate women's hamams) where the ladies stay on to eat, slake their thirst and engage in neighborly gossip.

This exhibit is the only functioning hamam to have been restored by the Ministry of Culture. The restoration was made in 1991 with the technical support of the Ministry of Culture, the General Directorate of Monuments and Museums, the Center for the Administration of Circulating Capital Funds of the Ministry of Culture, and the Directorate for Documentation of Monuments in Izmir. It was opened to the public with the assistance of the Bodrum Lions Club. Top

Glasswreck Hall

During the summers of 1977 through the Institute of Nautical Archaelogy (INA) with the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology excavated a Medieval shipwreck at Serce Limani, a natural harbour on the southern Turkish Coast.

The ship had set sail in around 1025 A.D from the southern part of the Syrian coast then ruled by the Fatimid caliphs and was carrying a variety of cargoes, including 3 tons of glass cullet in the form of raw glass and broken glassware. The glass cullet waz seing transported to some small glass factory located within the Byzantine Empire, most probably in either the Crimea or the lower Danube river region.

The ship, only 16 meters long and propelled by two lateen sails, had a flat bottom well designed for river navigation.The hill, although not well preserved, is an archaeological document of great importance for the history of naval architecture, since it constitutes a very early example of the employment of geometric formulae in order to achive desired hull shape.

The Serce Limani shipwreck has yielded what is presently the most closely-dated single assemblage of Islamic ceramic, metal and glass wares in existence. This assemblage is making a major constribution toward a more accurate dating of similar artifacts from other medieval Islamic sites and is already revolutionizing our view of a major period in Islamic history.

The display of the Serce Limani ship and its contents within the building designed and built for this pupose by the Turkish Government has been a joint project of the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology and INA. Additional exhibits devoted to he ship's anchors and rigging and a scale modelof the ship complete with her rigging will be added in the near future. Top

Coins and Jewellery Hall

Throughout history coins and jewellery have represented wealth and status is most of the world's cultures and have and important place in museum collections. Since the minting of coins was the prerogative of sovereign power they are an important source of information for historians, not to mention their spell on collectors. What distinguishes the coin exhibit in the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology from collections in other museums, however, is the imaginative way in which the value of ancient money is made understandable and relevant for every visitor today.

The purchasing power of these monetary units is shown by indicating the amounts of various commodities such as bread, meat or oil that they could buy, and even the effects of inflation on the value of money are clearly and ingeniously illustrated. This is further clarified by providing information on wages earned by unqualified workers as well as aid given to the poor by the city-states of the era.

The exhibit also shows the monetary and weight systems used in Anatolia, with particular reference to Caria whose coins, from the smallest to the largest, in both obverse and reverse, are displayed in chronological order. Genuine coins as well as their ancient and modern counterfeits are also displayed with appropriate clarifying narration and graphics.

The evidence that the Hecatomnid Dynasty which ruled Caria some 2400 years ago under the nominal suzerainty of the Persian Empire issued its own coinage testifies to the extent of its wide autonomy and coins of this period, though very rare, are included in the exhibit. These coins bear the head of Apollo on the obverse and on the reverse the name of the reigning Carian ruler inscribed next to the figure of Zeus Labraunda carrying the double-bladed Carian battle-axe over his right shoulder.

Here it is important and interesting to note that the world's first coins were minted in Lydia, the northern neighbor of Caria. We can hardly imagine the truly revolutionary nature of this innovation which rendered barter (the exchange of one kind of goods for another) obsolete and gave birth to commerce much as we know it today, i.e. the exchange of goods and services for money.

Pieces of jewellery included in the exhibit are displayed in the way they were originally worn and include a magnificent necklace crafted in granulation and filigree technique, a prize possession of very few distinguished families in those ancient times. Gold dress ornamentation found in the Mausoleum excavations are exhibited on 4th century BC clothing, again making the individual pieces more meaningful to the viewer. Top

German Tower

Bodrum Castle is situated on a rocky promontory between two beys. In 1496/1407, the Knights of St. John commenced building on the site of an ancient Byzantine and Turkish castle. The construction continued until 1522.

the plan of the castle is virtually square. Apart from the east rampart. the rest of the fortifications are strengthened by double outer walls. As they possossed a powerful fleet, the Knights were confident that they could easily ward off any potential danger from the sea, and the sea walls were relatively weak. The ramparts facing the mainland, however, were heavily fortified.

There are five main towers in the castle. These are known to the people of Bodrum by alternative names. They are the English Tower (The Lion Tower), the French Tower (The Embroidery Tower), The Italian Tower (The Releif Tower), The German Tower (The Strong Tower) and the Spanish Tower (The Snake Tower).

If one looks down between the Snake Tower and the German Tower, it is possible to see two further towers in the inner moat below the thick walls of the rampart. These little -known towers are the Gatineau and the Caretto. The Caretto tower was built in the name of Magnus Magister (Grand Master) Fabrico del Caretto (1513-1521), and the Gatineau Tower was constructed under Jacques Gatineau (1512-1514), one of the castle commanders. In the Gatineau Tower the cannon embrasures and the ventilation shafts were blocked up, and during the years 1513 to 1522 the tower was used as a dungeon and torture chamber.

On the 29th of July 1522, Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent and the Ottoman Turks, aware of the supremacy and invincibility of the Knights of St. John, commenced a siege on the Knights of St. John, commenced a siege on the Knights castle on the island of Rhodes. During the siege, which lasted 4 months 23 days, both sides sustained significant losses. The Knights finally surrendered on the 20th of December 1522 and an agreement was signed to the effect that the Castle of Rhodes and its island, togetherwith 12 other Islands, including Cos (Istankoy), and Bodrum Castle would be handed over to the Turks within 10 days. Bodrum Castle was surrendered without a struggle on the 5th of January 1523 and the Turks proceeded to bury the shameful room beneath a 3 meter thick stone wall in order to erease it from history.

On the outer wall of the Ganiteau Tower are three coats of arms. The central of these comprises the arms of Magnus Magister Emery d'Amboise (1503-1512), and those on either side are the arms of Jacques Gatineau, the commanders responsible for the construction of the tower. The tower is entered by a flight of 23 steps leading down. Above the inner door is an inscription in Latin -INDE DEUS ABEST, meaning 'God is absent from this place'. Just within the entrance is a balcony from which the torture chamber can be seen. Within each of the walls to east and west are two small chambers, the old cannon embrasures, each with a ventilation shaft above. One of these shafts was blocked by the arms in the shape of an anchored cross of Magnus Magister Pierre d'Aubusson (1476-1503). In the north-west corner of the main room is the gibbet ditch, in the front of which is a very small cramped cell in the ground. Attached to the wall are manacles, on the floor is a heavy ball and chain, and, hanging from the ceiling are the gibbet irons.

During its period of use, certain important Turks were held captive in the castle dungeons. Among these was Oruc Reis, the elder brother of the famous Admiral Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, On his return voyage from the Trablussam victory, he was besieged by the Knights. His brother Ilyas was killed in the battle and Oruc Reis himself was wounded and taken prisoner. He was in captivity from 1503 to 1506, spending the first year of his imprisonment in the castle dungeon. The Knights later regarded him as more trustworthy and transferred him to the island of Rhodes.

'The Gazavat - i Barbaros Hayrettin', the memories of Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, written by Seyidi Muradi, recounts the imprisonment of his brother:

"...they threw Oruc Reis into the dungeon and ordered that he should be severely tortured. His hands and feet were beaten with heavy iron chains, and he was made to suffer terrible afflictions. He was given only enough bread to keep hem alive."

Through the centuries the most honorable efforts of mankind have been in working towards enabling people to live without torture, without pain and without cruelty, their most important right, and a dungeon is always reminiscent of suspicion, fear and pain. The doors of the dungeon of Bodrum Castle are being opened as an example to the whole of humanity, in the hope that the pains suffered for centuries by mankind might end and the darkness be filled with light. Top

Glass Hall

This small room situated in former chapel of the castle now is used to display Glass objects from 1400 BC to 1100 AD. . The display was opened to public with the contributions of Turkish Bottle and Glass Factory.

The rooms houses glass work from various ancient cities in the region and glass discovered at the shipwrecks in the region. Oldest pieces of the display are 14th century glass ingots. Glass works from ancient cities of Kaunos and Stratonikea and glass pieces from Serce limani wreck are displayed in this room. All these rare glass pieces are displayed in specially lit pieces in a dark room.

In addition, an aquarium in the display room shows 1:20 scale of underwater excavation at 4th century shipwreck at Yassiada. This gives an excellent idea to visitors about underwater excavations carried out in the region. Top

Secret Museum in the Snake Tower

Since antiquity the snake has been the sacred symbol of healers. Entwined on a staff it marked the statues of Asclepius, the god of health of ancient mythology. It is thus reasonable to suppose that the emblem of the snake emblazoned on a tower in the Bodrum Castle marks a former place of healing and that this Snake Tower, as it is known today, was very likely used as an infirmary by the garrison of the Knights of the Hospital of St. John. Now it houses the Secret Museum, an exhibition of statuary and various artifacts associated birth, life and death.

When the multitudes of the First Crusade advanced towards the Holy Land, their ignorance of medicine or even basic personal hygiene brought on disease and death from infection that followed wounds sustained in battle. At the same time Blessed Gerard, recognized as the founder of the Hospital of St. John, was fortunate to be in Jerusalem where he and his followers already practiced the arts of healing which they had learned from the skilled Muslim practitioners of medicine. The Knights of St. John, though they later became primarily a military religious order, carried on treating the sick and wounded and established hospitals in many of their possessions and one such small hospital, or infirmary, was probably located in the Snake Tower of the Bodrum Castle. What these knights were very likely unaware of was that the arts of healing had been practiced since antiquity in this ancient land.

The Secret Museum exhibition in the Snake Tower brings evidence of the practice of ancient medicine to a location where treatment of the sick and wounded was, in all probability, practiced again. Since the cycle of birth, life and death begins with procreation, a matter of intense interest to the ancients, the exhibit includes a number of artifacts that symbolize male virility, particularly the god Priapus. The inborn procreative drive is illustrated in the Caunus Altar where Tellus Mater, the goddess of nature and marriage, holds Eros in her arms. When viewing this exhibit it is well to remember that Hippocrates, the father of medicine and author of the Hippocratic oath, taught his students on the nearby island of Cos. It is also well to note that the sacred snake of antiquity is a most potent symbol as it represents not only medicine but also power, fruitfulness, sexuality, sin and death. Top

Kas-Uluburun Shipwreck (Captain's log -book)

'As the captain of thes ship, i am proud that my pharaoh has enrusted to me the royal treasures in our cargo hold: delicate gold and silver bracelets and pendants and rings from the jewellers of Canaan and Egypt, rare ebony logs transported from tropical Africa, amber beads from landsso far to the north that few men know the source, and the teeth of elephants and hippopotamuses hunted along the shores of my own country.

Shall i drink a toast with this great golden goblet?

After leaving the coast of Syria behind us, we sail westward to Cyprus for additional cargo. Porters brought on board 350 ingots of pure copper, smelted from the ore of the island's famed mines. In all they weigh ten tons.

mixed with the ton of tin ingots already on my ship, this will make enough bronze to outfit an entire army! In thanking his gods for delivery of thes wealth, the Hittite king who receives it will surely burn as incense some of the resin my ship is carrying in a hundred Canaanite jars. But i am instructed not to tell you the name of the king to whom i am to deliver this wealth - even my crew does not know our destination. They know only that we continue to sail wastward.

I have entrusted the safety of our voyage to our own patron goddess. We carry her gold-covered bronze figure at the bow of the ship. In celebrating her magnificence, my crew dances to the sound of the bronze cymbals, ivory trumpet, and lutes of tortoise-shell we carry.

We stop for the night at the entrance to the huge bay that cuts into the bay till we round the southernmost point of this land. But now some of my sailors are putting out their fishing nets. The Mycenean merchant who accompanies us pours wine from his own pitcher into his own cup. I will weigh carefully anything he sells with the animal-shaped weights i carry with me; one of them is the finest ever seen in my time.

Now the sun is rising, and my men hoist the huge stone anchor that has held us firmly through the night. The wind is rising, but our stout hull, its fir planks joined tightly together, will carry us safely through the waves. I do not fear pirates, as well are well armed with swords, daggers, spears, maces and bows and arrows.

Now we must round the southernmost protrusion of land, the Great Point. But the wind is rising, but the wind is suddenly coming from the south. My helmsman tries to turn us away from the sheer cliff ahead. We must furl our sail.

I is too late. We have struct the cliff. Thi ship and all on board are sinking in 33 fathooms of water. We have finally reached land, but it is not our original destination." Top

Dungeon

Bodrum Castle is situated on a rocky promontory between two beys. In 1496/1407, the Knights of St. John commenced building on the site of an ancient Byzantine and Turkish castle. The construction continued until 1522.

the plan of the castle is virtually square. Apart from the east rampart. the rest of the fortifications are strengthened by double outer walls. As they possossed a powerful fleet, the Knights were confident that they could easily ward off any potential danger from the sea, and the sea walls were relatively weak. The ramparts facing the mainland, however, were heavily fortified.

There are five main towers in the castle. These are known to the people of Bodrum by alternative names. They are the English Tower (The Lion Tower), the French Tower (The Embroidery Tower), The Italian Tower (The Releif Tower), The German Tower (The Strong Tower) and the Spanish Tower (The Snake Tower).

If one looks down between the Snake Tower and the German Tower, it is possible to see two further towers in the inner moat below the thick walls of the rampart. These little -known towers are the Gatineau and the Caretto. The Caretto tower was built in the name of Magnus Magister (Grand Master) Fabrico del Caretto (1513-1521), and the Gatineau Tower was constructed under Jacques Gatineau (1512-1514), one of the castle commanders. In the Gatineau Tower the cannon embrasures and the ventilation shafts were blocked up, and during the years 1513 to 1522 the tower was used as a dungeon and torture chamber.

On the 29th of July 1522, Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent and the Ottoman Turks, aware of the supremacy and invincibility of the Knights of St. John, commenced a siege on the Knights of St. John, commenced a siege on the Knights castle on the island of Rhodes. During the siege, which lasted 4 months 23 days, both sides sustained significant losses. The Knights finally surrendered on the 20th of December 1522 and an agreement was signed to the effect that the Castle of Rhodes and its island, togetherwith 12 other Islands, including Cos (Istankoy), and Bodrum Castle would be handed over to the Turks within 10 days. Bodrum Castle was surrendered without a struggle on the 5th of January 1523 and the Turks proceeded to bury the shameful room beneath a 3 meter thick stone wall in order to erease it from history.

On the outer wall of the Ganiteau Tower are three coats of arms. The central of these comprises the arms of Magnus Magister Emery d'Amboise (1503-1512), and those on either side are the arms of Jacques Gatineau, the commanders responsible for the construction of the tower. The tower is entered by a flight of 23 steps leading down. Above the inner door is an inscription in Latin -INDE DEUS ABEST, meaning 'God is absent from this place'. Just within the entrance is a balcony from which the torture chamber can be seen. Within each of the walls to east and west are two small chambers, the old cannon embrasures, each with a ventilation shaft above. One of these shafts was blocked by the arms in the shape of an anchored cross of Magnus Magister Pierre d'Aubusson (1476-1503). In the north-west corner of the main room is the gibbet ditch, in the front of which is a very small cramped cell in the ground. Attached to the wall are manacles, on the floor is a heavy ball and chain, and, hanging from the ceiling are the gibbet irons.

During its period of use, certain important Turks were held captive in the castle dungeons. Among these was Oruc Reis, the elder brother of the famous Admiral Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, On his return voyage from the Trablussam victory, he was besieged by the Knights. His brother Ilyas was killed in the battle and Oruc Reis himself was wounded and taken prisoner. He was in captivity from 1503 to 1506, spending the first year of his imprisonment in the castle dungeon. The Knights later regarded him as more trustworthy and transferred him to the island of Rhodes.

'The Gazavat - i Barbaros Hayrettin', the memories of Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, written by Seyidi Muradi, recounts the imprisonment of his brother:

"...they threw Oruc Reis into the dungeon and ordered that he should be severely tortured. His hands and feet were beaten with heavy iron chains, and he was made to suffer terrible afflictions. He was given only enough bread to keep hem alive."

Through the centuries the most honorable efforts of mankind have been in working towards enabling people to live without torture, without pain and without cruelty, their most important right, and a dungeon is always reminiscent of suspicion, fear and pain. The doors of the dungeon of Bodrum Castle are being opened as an example to the whole of humanity, in the hope that the pains suffered for centuries by mankind might end and the darkness be filled with light. Top

The Commandant's Tower

In another of his efforts to transform the Bodrum Castle into a "living museum" that vividly illustrates the past, Museum Director Oguz Alpözen had the southwest tower rebuilt, furnished and decorated to reflect its state when it was the commandant's quarters at the beginning of this century when the Castle was used as a prison. The restoration was sponsored by Telsim and the official opening was held on August 26, 1999, some eighty-four years after the tower was destroyed by naval bombardment from the French warship Dupleix in 1915.

What makes this new exhibit most interesting is that it contains the personal effects of the last Ottoman Turkish commandant who had actually lived in the tower, Lt. İbrahim Nezihi. These memorabilia were donated to the museum by his daughter, Neriman Ata, who attended the opening ceremony especially scheduled to coincide exactly with the 77th anniversary of the death in battle of her father. By then promoted, Capt. Ðbrahim Nezihi was killed in action at the very beginning of what is known in Turkish history as "The Great Offensive", on August 26, 1922, the start of the attack that culminated in Turkish victory in the War of Independence. Top

Tektas Glasswreck

The French Tower, with its height of 47.5 meters, is among the most imposing structures that comprise the Bodrum Castle. It was built in the early years of the 13th century by Philibert de Naillac, the Grand Master of the Order of the Knight of St. John of Rhodes. His coat-of-arms is emblazoned on the tower wall along with the arms of the Pope and the King of France. Today, the two lower chambers of the tower house the Tektas shipwreck exhibition.

Located and identified in 1996 by archaeologist divers of INA, the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, during a routine underwater shipwreck inventory survey off the south coast of the Cesme peninsula, the site was excavated in 2001. The excavation, under the sponsorship of the National Geographic Society , was performed by INA and TINA, the Turkish counterpart of INA. The wreck was dated to the 5th century B.C., the Late Classical Age in which Herodotus lived, traveled and wrote his “Histories”. The finds from this excavation went on display here in 2004.

There were over 200 amphoras found in excellent condition and most are on display here; also, there is a replica of an anchor and an upper section of an anchor found in the wreck.

Marble discs were among the recovered artifacts and their replicas are shown attached to a model prow of a ship where they belong according to Prof. George Bass who led the excavation effort. Prof. Bass believes that they form “The eye of Achilles, ornamental or perhaps talismanic, believed to protect the ship”.

The original recovered discs are shown here separately in a showcase.

The exhibition also includes some kitchen utensils, various clay pots and oil lamps, bones, simple hand tools and hunting (and fishing) gear.

Also on display are some facsimiles of artifacts recovered from the wreck of the ship which is believed to have carried goods between potrs in the vicinity of the ancient city of Teos, near to today’s harbor of Sigacik.

The exhibition is enhanced by a display of large size photographs showing work done on land during the excavations. Top


External Links
  • Bodrum Museum
  • Wikipedia, Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology
  • Underwater Archaeology Museums

(1) Halicarnassus (Ancient Greek: Ἀλικαρνᾱσσός — Halikarnassós or Αλικαρνασσός — Alikarnassós; Turkish: Halikarnas, modern Bodrum)

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