Turkish archeologists have discovered a rare set of submerged ancient plates off the coast of Adrasan village, southwestern Antalya province. 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 Archeology Departments, respectively.
The plates date back to the era of the Eastern Roman Empire, 12th century BCE and will be displayed in Antalya Museum once their maintenance procedures are completed in the museum's labs.
Having many colors, sizes and patterns, the plates were found piled up in a sunken ship off Adrasan coast.
Academics have said that the plates were loaded onto the ship from two different workshops, noting that they were made using two different techniques.
They noted that the discovery is one of a kind in the world, as it contains 300 broken and 100 full 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.
Antalya is a popular resort town located on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey and is home to many ancient sites including UNESCO World Heritage Site Xanthos.
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