The Anatomy of a Byzantine Vessel: Yenikapi 8 Shipwreck

Kocabas I. O.

ART-SANAT, cilt.11, ss.325-338, 2019 (ESCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier


The shipwreck Yenikapi 8 (YK8) was discovered in Yenikapi, Istanbul, in 2006 during the rescue excavations carried out by Istanbul Archaeological Museums. The shipwreck, which was found within the sediment-filled Theodosian Harbour in the southern side of the excavation area, was dated to the 10th century AD according to the stratigraphic layer. Its remains measure only 5 m long and 2.9 m wide. The shipwreck comprises the keel, nineteen strakes of planking and thirteen floor-timbers. In fact, approximately half of the vessel lies under the sheet pile wall. YK 8 was documented in situ with traditional triangulation measurements and drawings, full-scale clear acetate drawings, photography and photomosaics. Then the hull members were dismantled and moved to the storage tanks at the IU Yenikapi Shipwrecks Research Centre. YK 8 which was studied amongst the flat-floored shipwrecks with planking edge dowels of the Yenikapi Site, was built using a Mediterranean mixed construction technique. The original dimensions of the vessel were estimated at about 12 m in length and 4 m in breadth according to preliminary reconstruction studies. In this article, the excavation, documentation methodology and basic construction features of YK 8 were discussed, along with its structural similarities to other Yenikapi shipwrecks.