University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology

Author: George F. Bass

A Bronze Age Shipwreck

By: George F. Bass

Just off Cape Gelidonya, on the southwest coast of Turkey, lies a row of five tiny islands, little more than rocky peaks on the sea and dots on a map. Sometime during the fourteenth or thirteenth century B.C. a small merchant ship tried to pass between two of these islands and, perhaps cracking against the […]

The Museum Assembles A Fleet

Photo of submarine
Two Views

By: George F. Bass and Lloyd P. Wells

By George F. Bass It was surely the most exciting day of my life. When I stepped from the limousine I wondered if I would look in vain for a few familiar faces. But as we walked the length of the graving dock, I picked out Dr. Kidder and Dr. Young and so many of […]

Troy and Ur

Gold Links Between Two Ancient Capitals

By: George F. Bass

The early Bronze Age in much of the Aegean, Near East, and Eastern Europe might better be called the Early Gold Age, for this is the time of the rich tombs from Maikop in southern Russia, through Alaca Huyuk in central Anatolia and Dorak in western Anatolia, to Ur in southern Mesopotamia, and even over […]

The Turkish Aegean

Proving Ground for Underwater Archaeology

By: George F. Bass

In the spring of 1960, seven men and women arrived in Turkey to excavate a Bronze Age shipwreck ninety-five feet deep. Only four had ever dived before. Our only excavating tools were pencils and plastic paper, meter tapes and surveyors’ poles, three underwater cameras, two lifting balloons, a crowbar, and an airlift or suction hose. […]

Problems of Deep Wreck Identification

By: George F. Bass and Laurence T. Joline

Readers of recent numbers of Expedition and the National Geographic are aware already of the University Museum’s search for two specific shipwrecks off the Turkish coast. At the risk of repetition, the project previous to the summer of 1968 may be summarized briefly. Two bronze statues were netted during recent years by Turkish sponge draggers. One of the […]

Nautical Archaeology

From Its Beginnings at Penn to Today's INA

By: George F. Bass

It all began nearly half a century ago at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. In 1959, the Director of the Museum, Froelich Rainey, and the Curator of the Mediterranean Section, Rodney Young, asked me if I would be willing to learn to dive in order to excavate a Late Bronze Age […]