Turkish and Australian archaeologists have spent the past two weeks surveying the seabed at Brighton Beach, Anzac Cove, North Beach and Suvla Bay — sites etched into New Zealand history by the failed 1915 Gallipoli campaign, which claimed the lives of more than 2700 New Zealand soldiers during World War I.
The sonar survey also found the wreck of British destroyer HMS Lewis, along with shrapnel from lead bullets fired by Turkish snipers at
Anzac troops as they swam in the sea. Archaeological photographer Mark Spencer, who was part of the 12-person team, said the barge find was significant.
“This particular barge … was used to ferry the wounded and maybe even dead soldiers from the beach to the hospital ships.”
It was easily recognisable from old photographs of barges transporting wounded soldiers.
“It was like going back in time — basically a museum under the sea.”
The bullets and shrapnel found on the sea floor at Anzac Cove also revealed the reality of the disastrous campaign, Mr Spencer said.
Soldiers used the beach as a recreation area, but it was “a pretty unsafe place”.
“You have all these historical pictures of soldiers swimming in the water, but the Turks were hurling shells over that beach.”
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