Heritage Grant Recipient Marilyn Cassedy Describes her Experiences During the Final Excavation Season at the Kizilburun Column-Carrying Shipwreck, Turkey

One of the six-ton column drums comes to the surface.

This summer I was able to travel to Turkey to participate in the final season of excavation at the Kizilburun column-carrying shipwreck as a direct result of the ASOR Heritage Grant I was awarded. Because of the high cost of running an underwater excavation from a remote location, project directors typically require students to pay for their own travel to and from the site. The remoteness of this project served also to increase travel costs for interested participants. As a result of these expenses, I was one of only two students able to join the excavation team this summer.

The primary goals of the final season were two-fold: (1) to raise the six remaining marble column drums from the sea floor for conservation and further study at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology’s Nixon Griffis Conservation Laboratory in Bodrum, Turkey, and (2) to survey the wreck site for a final check that all material associated with the shipwreck has been mapped into the site plan and raised. I had the opportunity to assist with both of these objectives, and gained valuable experience through both of them. Raising the drums proved to be a logistical challenge that required both forethought and the ability to react quickly while underwater. The survey process was much slower, but more interesting archaeologically as it called upon my skills in Hellenistic ceramic identification. The team managed to successfully raise the six drums and I was successful in identifying and raising a Rhodian amphora fragment which dates to the late 2nd or early 1st century B.C.E., the proposed period in which this ship sank.

I would like to thank ASOR and my donor once again for affording me the opportunity to be involved with this excavation. My experience on-site has been critical in developing my skills as a field archaeologist, and the connections I have been able to make with others in my field have already proven useful in pursuing future archaeological opportunities.

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