'Oldest Intact Shipwreck Known To Mankind' Found In Depths Of Black Sea

Posted October 26, 2018

A remarkably intact ancient Greek merchant ship from 2,400 years ago has been found at the bottom of the Black Sea.

Researchers on the project have mapped the ship using a pair of remotely operated vehicles and it lies at such an extreme dept (1.2 miles down) that the team says it is beyond the reach of modern divers.

"A ship, surviving intact, from the Classical world, lying in over 2km of water, is something I would never have believed possible", Jon Adams, an archaeology professor at the University of Southampton and the group's principal investigator, said in a statement released Tuesday.

The unique preservation of the 2,400-year-old ship is due to the unusual water chemistry of the Black Sea and the lack of oxygen below 182 metres.

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Archaeologists have discovered and raised from the depths of the Black sea, an ancient ship that sank.

According to the statement from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, one of the organizations behind the Anglo-Bulgarian expedition, the vessel design was "previously only seen on the side of ancient Greek pottery such as the "Siren Vase" in the British Museum". Before this discovery, ancient ships had been found only in fragments. The hull of the boat is still intact, with the deck of the ship still lined with oars and the vessel's cargo hold still sealed up. Before now, such vessels have only been seen as they were depicted artistically, such as on ancient Greek pottery.

Helen Farr who was on the expedition told the BBC that the discovery was like "another world". "We're talking about still preserved ropes, shipwrecks that literally look as if they had sunk yesterday", Garbov said.

The ship was discovered in the fall of 2017, on the third of three survey trips to the Black Sea.

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

At this moment, the team of experts found more than 60 historic shipwrecks.

The Black Sea has risen and fallen as civilizations have waxed and waned.

Others found include Roman trading ships and a 17th-century Cossack raiding fleet.

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As Prof Adams says: "This assemblage must comprise one of the finest underwater museums of ships and seafaring in the world".