Institute of Nautical Archaeology

An underwater archaeologist excavates a copper oxhide-shaped ingot from the Uluburun wreck off the coast of Turkey. Ingots—flat, rectangular metal slabs with four concave sides and similar to the shape of an animal skin—were an easy way to stack and transport metal. The ship’s cargo included copper ingots, storage jars, gold jewelry and domestic pottery dating to approximately 1300 B.C., a cache probably typical of the trade Minoans engaged in.