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Nautical archaeologist Cemal Pulak gave a talk Thursday night, titled "Uluburun and Late Bronze Age Maritime Trade in the Eastern Mediterranean," presenting the excavation of one of the world's oldest shipwrecks.Its presentations examine recent discoveries in the fields of maritime trade, the gods and rituals of the region.The true name of the wrecked ship is unknown. The ship's precious cargo, the discovery of wax writing tablets (likely belonging to a messenger) and two Mycenaean swords, which indicate there were envoys aboard the vessel to ensure the safe transit of the cargo, all suggest the Uluburun was a royal trade dispatch headed for mainland Greece.The ship's primary cargo was a valuable 10 tons of Cypriot copper ingots, a rare find of a ton of tin ingots and 175 glass ingots that were used as fake gemstones.The discovery of the tin ingots and a few other tin objects, Pulak said, were unique in the world of marine archaeology.The excavation site was difficult to approach due to the steep slope of the seabed and required about 25,000 work and cleaning dives.Another significant find was a small gold scarab with the name of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti on the base.
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