World's Oldest Intact Shipwreck Discovered in Black Sea

World's Oldest Intact Shipwreck Discovered in Black Sea

World's Oldest Intact Shipwreck Discovered in Black Sea

Researchers on an expedition in the Black Sea found themselves staring at one of the most incredible ancient artifacts ever discovered when they stumbled upon the largely intact remains of a Greek merchant ship thought to be over 2,400 years old. Researchers said such a design has only previously been seen on Greek pottery from the time, such as the Siren Vase in the British Museum.

It's well preserved condition is due to the Black Sea water being free of oxygen beyond a depth of 150 metres.

The project - which seeks to better understand the origins of the Black Sea boundaries and sea level change - has found more than 60 shipwrecks within the past three years.

Like the ship depicted on ancient vase 480 BC, which depicts the scene of the meeting of Odysseus with the sirens.

Numerous ships fit the description of trading vessels described or depicted in ancient literature and drawings, but never seen until now.

"The Black Sea is anoxic - it doesn't have oxygen in the water beyond 150 metres down".

"This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world", he said. Now, according to MAP, they know it also depicts a representation of real trading vessels used around the same era as their find.

It is running for a fourth consecutive year from the Norwegian ship Havila Subsea and its objective is to remotely investigate the seabed with the use of sonar and deep-sea diving ROVs (remotely operated vehicles).

The Black Sea MAP project is a collaboration between the University of Southampton in Britain and the Bulgarian Centre for Underwater Archaeology, an independent institute under the the Ministry of Culture, as well as National Archaeological Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

"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.

"As archaeologists we're interested in what it can tell us about technology, trade and movements".

Over the course of three years the academic expedition found 67 wrecks including Roman trading ships and a 17th Century Cossack trading fleet. Numerous wrecks' details and locations are being kept secret by the team to ensure they remain undisturbed.

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