In the castle museum in Bodrum is a huge display from a wreck discovered of Uluburun, a cape close to Kaş on the Lycian Way. Excavated by American underwater archaeologist George Bass, the wreck was a well-preserved freeze-frame of life on a coastal ship of the Bronze Age. The principle cargo was metals – copper and tin ingots – and amphorae of wine. Blocks of blue glass ready for heating and blowing were also stored in the hold.
The personal items are fascinating, for among them are two indicators of an early diplomatic mission. The first is a book – two wooden leaves which once held wax tablets on which a message could be written. The second is a scarab belonging to Nefertiti, queen of Egypt. Other goods include rich gifts fit for a queen to give to a king – ostrich eggs, african ivory, a gold beaker and personal jewellery. Maybe the gifts were destined for a Hittite king, for it is known from correspondence found on Hittite clay tablets that embassies were exchanged, marriages were negotiated and gifts presented between the two royal houses.
This display is not the only exhibit in the museum – a room of glass items found in shipwrecks, a hall decorated with medieval banners and armour, a display showing the development of amphorae and many other underwater finds will fascinate visitors.