Underwater excavations carried out by the University of Haifa in the Turkish town of Urla
*The ranking was performed by the Archaeological Institute of America*
The underwater archaeological excavations in the Turkish port town of Urla, being carried out by scientists of the University of Haifa's Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies and headed by Prof. Michal Artzi, have been chosen by the Archaeological Institute of America as one of the ten most important nautical excavations in the world. Findings at the Turkish site have included the oldest wooden anchor in the world, the remains of an ancient port that collapsed in some earthquake, and even sunken remains of the town itself.
The Urla excavations are carried out by University of Haifa researchers in cooperation with scientists from Ankara University. They began in 2000, when the Turkish researchers invited their Haifa colleagues to assist them in the underwater excavations at Urla. Over the years, many Turkish divers have been trained by experts from the University of Haifa's Institute for Maritime Studies, and Ankara University has recently established its own marine institute under the guidance of the Israeli team.
This unique cooperation has also led the local inhabitants to uncover their Jewish roots: two ancient Jewish cemeteries that had been neglected for years have been renovated and have even been added to the region's maps.
Amir Gilat, Ph.D.
Communication and Media Relations
University of Haifa
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