The oldest intact shipwreck in the world discovered in the Black Sea

by    DiveSSI    25th October 2018
The oldest intact shipwreck in the world discovered in the Black Sea (c) Black Sea MAP/EEF Expeditions
Preparation of ROV; almost ready to go (c) Black Sea MAP/EEF Expeditions
The ROV of the Research Team (c) Black Sea MAP/EEF Expeditions
The research vessel in the Black Sea (c) Black Sea MAP/EEF Expeditions
3D Prints of the found Wrecks have been produced by the research team (c) Black Sea MAP/EEF Expeditions

Greek merchant ship is 2,400 years old

On the bottom of the Black Sea Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the oldest intact shipwreck in the world. It has been there for more than 2,400 years and is in an amazing state of preservation.

The five-meter-long, probably ancient Greek ship was discovered with a standing mast, intact oars and rowing benches at a depth of more than 2,000 meters. The low-oxygen environment in this depth of the Black Sea preserved the wood of the wreck, according to the researchers.

"An intact ship from the classic world that has survived over 2 km of water is something I never thought possible," says Professor Jon Adams, chief researcher of the Black Sea Maritime Archeology Project (Black Sea MAP), the team that made the find. "That will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in antiquity."

The researchers assume that it is a merchant ship, as shown by vase paintings on ancient Greek ceramics. The team wants to leave the wreck intact on the spot. They only took a small piece of wood, which was dated to the year 400 BC at the University of Southampton.

The Black Sea MAP research team has located and surveyed over 60 shipwrecks from ancient times to the Middle Ages at the bottom of the Black Sea in three years. The goal of the mission was to gain insights into the effects of prehistoric sea-level changes.

During the project, a two-hour documentary film was premiered yesterday - October 23rd, 2018 - in the British Museum and is to be shown worldwide.

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25th October 2018
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