SAME St. Louis Post Meeting: Thursday, December 10, 2020

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Speaker: Mark A. Smith, PhD, RPA, Supervisory Archaeologist, USACE Topic: Trade in the Bronze Age: 13th Century B.C. Shipwreck Found Off Th

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Speaker:  Mark A. Smith, PhD, RPA, Supervisory Archaeologist, USACE

Topic: Trade in the Bronze Age: 13th Century B.C. Shipwreck Found Off The Coast of Turkey

Time:7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Presentation Abstract:

In 1982 a Turkish sponge diver reported seeing “metal biscuits with ears” on the seabed outside the village of Kas, Turkey. This discovery led to the excavation and recovery of what at the time was the world’s oldest known shipwreck by an international group of archaeologists. The Uluburun shipwreck, as it became known, sank in the early part of the 13th century B.C. Its cargo provides a revealing view of international Late Bronze Age trade with artifacts from nearly a dozen different cultures being represented. The geographic origin of the cargo extends as far as Egypt, the Baltic Sea, Greece, Mesopotamia, and Afghanistan. The excavation of the ship involved over 22,000 individual dives and took place over 12 years.


Dr. Mark Smith is a section chief in the Mandatory Center of Expertise for the Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections (MCX CMAC), St. Louis District, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. He received his Ph.D. in archaeology from New York University. His academic training also includes a M.A. degree in underwater archaeology from Texas A&M University. He worked on the Uluburun excavation for six seasons, as well as multiple other underwater sites during his graduate studies. Working for the Corps, he has served as archaeological field director on projects both in the St. Louis District and overseas, including forensic recovery missions in Iraq, the South Pacific, and Southeast Asia.


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