A PRELIMINARY STUDY COMPARING THE CONSTRUCTION FEATURES OF YENIKAPI SHIPWRECKS WITH THE NORTHWEST EUROPEAN CONTEMPORARIES: THE CASE OF YK20


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Güler T.

in: Current Approaches, Solutions and Practices in Conservation of Cultural Heritage, Gulder Emre,Ayberk Yilmaz,Paola Pogliani,Gulce Ogruc,Ildiz Rui Fausto, Editor, Istanbul University Press, İstanbul, pp.471-488, 2024

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Publisher: Istanbul University Press
  • City: İstanbul
  • Page Numbers: pp.471-488
  • Editors: Gulder Emre,Ayberk Yilmaz,Paola Pogliani,Gulce Ogruc,Ildiz Rui Fausto, Editor
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

The subject of this study involves a technical comparison of the shipwreck Yenikapı 20 (YK20) that was unearthed during the Yenikapı salvage excavations in Theodosius Harbor, which was used between the 5th-11th centuries, with Northwest European early Medieval-era shipwrecks that had been made using the clinker-built technique. In this context, the introduction briefly presents the evolution of water transport in the two regions, as well as the harbor’s history and the 9 years of excavations that took place there before explaining the documentation and analysis of the YK20 shipwreck. The ship’s construction features have been identified by studying its hull members and comparing these with Northwestern European ships dated to the same era. Northern Europe became an important center for shipbuilding in the early Middle Ages, and the clinker construction method was the technique the Vikings in Northern Europe mostly used. However, when looking at shipbuilding techniques further south after the Middle Ages, the carvel construction method is seen to have been used in the region covering the lands of the Netherlands and Germany, as well as in large parts of the Baltic countries. One of the biggest differences between Viking boats and Mediterranean ships is that they prefer a rectangular sail system and use long boats that can move both through rowing as well as under sail power. As such, Viking ships appear to be a mix of their contemporaries in the Mediterranean, warships, and cargo vessels. In other words, the Vikings used these ships for both trading and raids. The importance of ships in Viking culture is indisputable, and the fact that they used their ships for burials have allowed the wrecks to be discovered on land and excavated even as recent as 100 years ago.