Special Presentation

Constantinople’s Theodosian Harbor
and 37 Byzantine Shipwrecks

by Associate Professor Dr. Ufuk Kocabaş
Director, Department of Conservation and Restoration, and
Division of Conservation of Marine Archaeological Objects,
Istanbul University

Yenikapi ShipwrecksSalvage excavations conducted at Yenikapı in Istanbul have unearthed the remains of Constantinople’s Theodosian Harbor, including 37 Byzantine shipwrecks. In addition to thousands of archaeological artefacts, a total of 37 shipwrecks dating from the 5th to the 11th centuries AD were uncovered, constituting the biggest collection of medieval ships uncovered at a single excavation site.

The excavations confirmed that Theodosian Harbor was once established in today’s construction site and formerly a cove, then silted by the Lykos (Bayrampaşa) stream, and lying about 300 m from modern shoreline.

A team of Istanbul University’s Department of Conservation of Marine Archaeological Objects has undertaken the fieldwork and conservation of 27, out of a total of 37, shipwrecks in the harbor. Shipwrecks of various types and sizes have been exposed since 2005, and an extensive research on ships is still in progress.

The research presents new information on the development of shipbuilding traditions and techniques in the Mediterranean region.

Dr. Ufuk Kocabaş

Associate Professor Ufuk Kocabaş currently directs Department of Conservation and Restoration and also Division of Conservation of Marine Archaeological Objects at Istanbul University. His research is focused on underwater archaeology, ancient shipbuilding technology and conservation of underwater cultural heritage. He is currently directing medieval shipwrecks excavation and conservation, “The Yenikapı shipwrecks Project”, on behalf of Istanbul University.

Dr. Kocabaş is also the head of Commission of Underwater Archaeology in Turkish Underwater Sports Federation and Member of CMAS (World Underwater Federation) Scientific Committee and Turkish National Commission for UNESCO-Tangible Cultural Heritage Committee.

Selected Publications:

Kocabaş, U., 1998, Conservation and Restoration of Marine Archaeological Objects. İstanbul.
Kocabaş, U. (Ed.), 2008, Yenikapı Shipwrecks, Volume 1: Old Shipwrecks of New Gate: 1. İstanbul.
Kocabaş, U., 2015, The Yenikapi Byzantine-Era Shipwrecks (Istanbul, Turkey): a preliminary report and inventory of the 27 wrecks studied by Istanbul University. IJNA:44.1


6:00 pm

170 Beacon Street, Boston

Reception following the presentation


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