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A unique find on a 19th century wreck!

The beginning of the year proved to be particularly interesting for underwater archaeologists exploring the coastal waters off southern Japan. Scientists managed to find six artillery shells, believed to be the oldest of their kind. The unique munitions were found during work conducted on the wreck of the Turkish frigate “Ertuğrul”. The frigate in question,
Published: February 28, 2018 - 14:55
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:29
A unique find on a 19th century wreck!

The beginning of the year proved to be particularly interesting for underwater archaeologists exploring the coastal waters off southern Japan. Scientists managed to find six artillery shells, believed to be the oldest of their kind. The unique munitions were found during work conducted on the wreck of the Turkish frigate “Ertuğrul”.

The frigate in question, which was a representative unit of the Ottoman Navy, set sail for Japan in April 1889, on a mission from Sultan Abdülhamid II. The main purpose of the voyage was to conclude an alliance with the Meiji Emperor of Japan.

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The ship sank during its return voyage as a result of a typhoon, on 18 September 1890, near Kushimoto. The disaster resulted in the deaths of 533 sailors. Only 69 crew members were rescued by local residents. Despite the tragic end, the event laid the foundations for friendly relations between Turkey and Japan.

Source dailysabah.com_1

Joint work by Japanese and Turkish scientists, under the auspices of the Kushimoto Turkish Memorial and Museum, has been ongoing on the wreck since 2007. Since the beginning of this year, the diving team has made more than 120 dives on the wreck. The frigate is located about 200 metres off the coastal rocks and sits at a depth of 17 metres.

Source dailysabah.com_2

During the exploration, scientists managed to unearth, among other things, six artillery shells. According to Tufan Turanli – the head of the team conducting the exploration, these are some of the first anti-tank missiles in history, constructed in 1860.

0x0-worlds-oldest-artillery-shells-discovered-in-ertugrul-frigate-excavation-off-japan-coast-1518863789757

Three of them, weighing 52kg, are signed with the name of Sir William Palliser – their designer. Another three weigh about 30 kg. Divers also excavated porcelain tableware and wooden and metal elements of the ship’s equipment from the wreck.

0x0-worlds-oldest-artillery-shells-discovered-in-ertugrul-frigate-excavation-off-japan-coast-1518863797336

Probably by the end of the year we will be able to write about further interesting discoveries made by scientists on the wreck of the 19th century frigate “Ertuğrul”.

Source: www.dailysabah.com

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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