About Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology
The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology in Turkey exhibits historical treasures uncovered through underwater excavations housed in Bodrum Castle.
Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology history
The Museum of Underwater Archaeology itself was founded in 1962. Initially, restoration of the castle was the priority; later, exhibition halls were created in the available space. The museum received a special commendation in 1995 as the “European Museum of the Year”.
In the process of the museum being set up, it became the first museum to be awarded a grant from the Turkish government. Funds were awarded to transform the castle from an abandoned torture prison to a public museum.
Some of the treasures at the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology include the finds from the Bronze Age Uluburun Shipwreck, believed to have sunk in 14th century BC and discoveries from a 5th century ship, most of which includes glasswear, lending it the name of “The Glasswreck”.
The Museum of Underwater Archaeology also has other departments, including its “secret museum” which explores ancient forms of medicine. The exhibitions are dotted around its halls and towers, allowing visitors to learn more about the underwater finds whilst exploring the castle.
Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology today
Today, there are 14 exhibition halls in the museum of Bodrum. Many of the items found in the museums can be touched, felled and read about by visiting tourists. Each shipwreck found in the museum takes its name from the area that they were found, the items that these ships were carrying can be seen in the display cabinets.
Although the castle is under the auspices of the Turkish Ministry of Culture, all the museum exhibitions are overseen by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, an American non-profit organization with bases both in Bodrum and Texas, United States of America.
The biggest group of artefacts on display in the museum are the amphoras, two-handled and portable jugs with a pointed bottom which were used in the commerce of ancient times to carry and store wine, olive oil and dry foodstuff. The museum houses the world’s biggest Eastern Mediterranean Amphora collection.
Getting to the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology
The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology is situated inside the Bodrum Castle, in central Bodrum, by the coast in walking distance from the harbour.