Expert Eyes Shipwrecks in Termini Lecture

Cemal Pulak (Texas A&M University), left, works on the site of a shipwreck in this publicity photo from Texas A&M University.
Cemal Pulak (Texas A&M University), left, works on the site of a shipwreck in this publicity photo from Texas A&M University.

Nautical archeology and storied shipwrecks will be the focus of the 2015 Ben and Trudy Termini Distinguished Anthropologist Lecture next month.

Cemal Pulak, an associate professor of anthropology at Texas A&M University, will present his research in a lecture, “Excavating the World’s Oldest Shipwreck: Uluburun and Late Bronze Age Trade in the Mediterranean,” in the School of Architecture Auditorium at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 2.

Pulak, who is also vice president for the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA), specializes in Bronze Age seafaring, maritime trade and technology, and is preparing for final publication the excavation of a ship near Uluburn (off the south coast of Turkey), which sank in the Late Bronze Age (around 1300 BCE).

“Cemal Pulak is one of the world’s pre-eminent authorities on the history of shipbuilding and sailing in the Mediterranean from prehistoric times on,” said Karl Petruso, professor of anthropology and dean of the Honors College. “His long-term study of the Uluburun shipwreck, whose cargo was enormous, eclectic and well preserved, has provided scholars with a new understanding of the dynamics of trade in the Late Bronze Age, a period of complex international relationships.”

Since entering the field of nautical archaeology in 1975, Pulak has excavated three shipwreck sites ranging in date from the Bronze Age through the 16th century AD, and participated in the excavation and underwater investigation of many other shipwrecks. He has directed the INA’s annual shipwreck surveys in Turkey since 1982. The results of Pulak’s research have appeared in both academic journals and popular publications.

The annual lecture series was established in 2005 by the generosity of Drs. Termini and their great love of anthropology.

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