Turkish archaeologists have discovered a rare set of ancient plates off the coast of Adrasan village in the southwestern Turkish province of Antalya.
The discovery follows work initiated by Antalya Museum Director Mustafa Demirel and academics from Dokuz Eylül University and Selçuk University’s Marine Sciences Institute and Underwater Archaeology Departments, respectively.
The plates date back to the late Byzantine period, and will be displayed in Antalya Museum after preservation work is completed in the museum’s labs.
Multi-coloured and decorated with various patterns, the plates were found piled up in a sunken ship off the Adrasan coast.
Academics have said that the plates were loaded onto the ship from two different workshops sometime during the 12th century, noting that they were made using two different techniques.
They noted that the discovery is unprecedented, as it contains 300 broken and 100 intact plates. They also pointed that the plates resembled a dinner set, with different sizes of plates containing the same patterns.
“This shows us that dinnerware existed 900 years ago,” Assistant Professor Hakan Öniz was quoted as saying and added that there are other examples of submerged plate sets off Antalya and Mersin coasts, but are located much deeper in the sea.
Öniz also said that the work is expected to be completed by 2017 and the plates will be displayed in Antalya Museum.