Akrotiri Frescoes: Mediterranean commerce in the Bronze Age

Scientists from the Selcuk University (SU) have discovered a 5,000-year-old shipping sea route in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The underwater archaeologists found harbors, shipwrecks, shipyards and anchoring spots near Mersin, a city located in the south of Turkey. They believe they've found traces of the world's first maritime route and earlier harbors.

Using high-resolution sonar systems, diving equipment, and waterproof cameras, the group of ten researchers unveiled data and objects that confirm that this maritime route was used since the Bronze Age.

"Anchors and wreckages have already showed us that the sea route on the coasts of Silifke has been used for at least 5,000 years, with vessels traveling between Cyprus, Egypt, Rhodes, Knidos, Italy and all the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean," says Hakan Öniz, director of the SU Underwater Research Center, told the Hurriyet Daily News.

"New data reveals that at least 100 vessels were produced in the region in a large shipyard. These shipyards were established on natural slope, rocky grounds. Underwater work unearthed some parts of the shipyards that remained underwater after earthquakes."