underwater divers
The wreck was discovered by divers as part of a university research projectC_Fernandes

A 4,000-year-old shipwreck has been discovered in the Mediterranean Sea by researchers at a Turkish university.

The Marine Sciences Institute at Dokuz Eylül University has been carrying out a project into Turkey's underwater heritage for the past nine years, Daily Sabah reported, unearthing the discovery, thought to be the country's oldest shipwreck, in the Marmaris Hisarönü Gulf.

It is believed the vessel is a Minoan trading ship, which may have capsized en route from Crete to Bozburun. Professor Abdurrahman Harun Özdaş, from Dokuz Eylül University, told Daily Sabah: "We come up with maps based on such shipwrecks, where they dropped their anchors, as well as objects which fell off from ships."

The team referred to the maps as the 'underwater geographic information system of Turkey'; something they have put together over years of research. It is believed that the shipwreck is not the team's first discovery, as they have also found a number of other artefacts in the area, including anchors, ports and remains from several different periods of history. However, the discovery of the Minoan trading ship more than 40 metres below the surface of the water is the team's most significant find to date.

It also sets a new record, if the discovery is verified as a Minoan ship, as Turkey's oldest discovered shipwreck, a titles previously held by the 3,300-year-old Uluburun shipwreck, dating back to the Bronze Age.

The discovery of the Uluburun shipwreck, off the coast of Kas, at least 100 miles from the recently-discovered Minoan vessel, has proved to be a fruitful one, with Ancient Origins estimating that more than 18,000 artefacts have been recovered from the ship.