World's oldest intact shipwreck discovered in the Black Sea

World's oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea

World's oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea

The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (Black Sea MAP) is a joint venture involving experts from the United Kingdom and Bulgaria.

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.

Over the course of the past three years The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (Black Sea MAP) mapped over 2000 sq km (772 sq miles) of the seabed in unprecedented detail using technology previously reserved for the oil and gas extraction industry.

An ancient Greek trading ship dating back more than 2,400 years has been found virtually intact at the bottom of the Black Sea, the world's oldest known shipwreck, researchers said on Tuesday, October 23. The group says ships of the design they found last year had previously only been found in artwork such as the Siren Vase, an artifact dated several decades earlier than the ship.

Professor John Adams, Black Sea Map's principal investigator said: "A ship surviving intact from the Classical world, lying in over 2km, is something I would have never believed possible".

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The group says the vessel has been carbon dated to more than 2,400 years ago. "This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world".

The vase depicts a scene from The Odyssey, in which Odysseus is strapped to the mast as he passes the deadly sirens.

The team found a Greek trading vessel during a survey in 2017. The anoxic (oxygen free) environment at the murky depths of the Black Sea, which can preserve organic material for thousands of years, is what kept the ship in such pristine condition. We understand the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Expedition conference will be making some of the data available to the Wellcome Collection in Euston, London, and we've asked it for further info.

The documentary team made a two-hour film that is due to be shown at the British Museum on Tuesday. It discovered some 60 shipwrecks, including a 17th century Cossack raiding fleet and Roman trading vessels carrying amphorae.

Dr Kroum Batchvarov who worked on the project said: "It is the first of its kind, an absolutely incredible find, it is unique".

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