Oldest intact shipwreck discovered at the bottom of the Black Sea

24 October, 2018, 06:42 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • A perfectly preserved Roman vessel was also pulled from the depths

It was among more than 60 shipwrecks found by the global team of maritime archaeologists, scientists and marine surveyors, which has been on a three-year mission to explore the depths of the Black Sea to gain a greater understanding of the impact of prehistoric sea-level changes.

More than 60 shipwrecks were discovered by the global team of maritime archaeologists with the second oldest being carbon dated to 200 AD.

One such ship has now been discovered nearly completely intact at the bottom of the Black Sea at a depth of 1.2 miles, where oxygen levels are so low that marine life is virtually nonexistent.

"This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world", said the project's principal investigator Professor Jon Adams.

An ancient Greek ship has been discovered in excellent condition by a team of researchers in the Black Sea.

An worldwide team of scientists and researchers have stumbled upon an ancient discovery at the bottom of the Black Sea.

The 75-foot-wreck is thought to be an ancient Greek merchant ship, as it resembles the vessel painted on the historic "Siren Vase", today stored at the British Museum.


For one example of the ship's value, the team pointed to a very different kind of vessel - pottery.

The "Siren Vase" in the British Museum: the shipwreck is believed to be a vessel similar to that shown bearing Odysseus.

The Greek-style ship was first identified in 2017, off the coast of Bulgaria. It's managed to stay in such good condition for all these years thanks to the Black Sea's super-salty anoxic waters which are depleted of dissolved oxygen, allowing organic matter to remain preserved for centuries.

"Normally we find amphorae (wine vases) and can guess where it's come from, but with this it's still in the hold", said Dr Helen Farr, a marine archaeologist from the University of Southampton.

But there was a time when trade flourished in the Black Sea.

The project has been a great success so far, with significant finds including a Roman ship, as well as a more modern (by comparison) 17 Century Cossack boat. More recent radiocarbon dating has confirmed that the ship dates to around 400 BCE.

The findings are documented in a two-hour documentary project, which is also due to be released Tuesday.

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