MAP Scientists Find World's Oldest Intact Shipwrecked Vessel Beneath Black Sea

Lester Mason
October 23, 2018

The preservation is so incredible that the bones of the monkfish being eaten by the crew at the time the ship went down have been perfectly preserved on the deck.

The Black Sea has always been an important trade route between Europe and Asia, meaning it's been a hub of activity for countless cultures and civilizations, including the Greeks, Persians, Scythians, Romans, Goths, Huns, Crusaders, and Ottomans, to name but a few.

The world's oldest intact shipwreck has been discovered more than a mile beneath the waves of the Black Sea, archaeologists believe.

"This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world", said research project team member Jon Adams. British scientists from the Black Sea Maritime Archaeological Project, which found the wreck, said its location - about 50 miles off the coast of Bulgaria - revealed how far from shore ancient Greek traders ventured.

The shipwreck design also bears a resemblance to the vessel depicted on the "Siren Vase", which dates back to around 480BC, now displayed at the British Museum.

"The project as a whole was actually looking at sea level change and the flooding of the Black Sea region. and the shipwrecks are a happy by-product of that", she told BBC radio.


Southampton University joined efforts with the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, Bulgaria's Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Sozopol, Sweden's Södertörn University in Stockholm, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and America's University of CT.

Thanks to the lack of oxygen at its depth over 2km below the surface, the 23-metre (75ft) vessel is remarkably unscathed.

The researchers examined the ship with remotely operated underwater vehicles, collected a sample and carbon-dated it to around 400 B.C. The University of Southampton says this confirms the vessel as the oldest known intact shipwreck in the world.

"The Black Sea is considered to be one of the world's finest under water laboratories", the team wrote on its website.

The documentary team made a two-hour film that is due to be shown at the British Museum on Tuesday.

Their exploration unearthed more than 60 shipwrecks, including Roman trading ships and a 17th century Cossack raiding fleet.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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