Replica of Byzantine ship is under construction
Turkey is going to build a precise replica of one of the 36 medieval ships, which were found in Yenikapi in 2004. The ships are regarded as one of the largest collections of shipwrecks and were found with a treasure trove of other artefacts during the on-going excavations for the Marmaray, an undersea commuter tunnel linking Europe and Asia. The ships were found when the excavation uncovered the ancient Port of Theodosius. Many of the ships date back to the 4th century.
The trees used to build the ship under reconstruction were oak, chestnut, common ash, beech and walnut. All of these except for walnut can be found near Istanbul in the Belgrade forrest. The ship was probably constructed in or near İstanbul. Hard and durable woods from oak trees were used for the skeleton. However, whether the oak used for building this ship was imported is at present unknown. It will probably have been a ship primarily used for fishing or shifting goods locally.
The ship, nearly 10 metres long and more than 2.5 metres wide, will be launched in 2013. The organisers suggest that visitors shall have the opportunity to come on boar and experience what it felt like sailing on one of these vessels. Before being launched the plan is to exhibit the replica either in the garden of the Istanbul Archaeology Museums or in the historical garden of Istanbul University. Later on the plan is to create a huge new museum in order to showcase the shipwrecks.