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article imageWorld's oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea

By Karen Graham     Oct 23, 2018 in Science
Archaeologists have discovered what is believed to be the oldest intact shipwreck ever found about 1.3 miles below the surface of the Black Sea, where it appears to have lain undisturbed for 2,400 years.
A team of maritime archaeologists, scientists, and surveyors with the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (MAP) believe the ship is a Greek trading vessel that has only been seen “on the side of ancient Greek pottery such as the ‘Siren Vase’ in the British Museum." The vase shows Odysseus, the hero from Homer’s epic poem, tied to the mast of a similar ship as he resisted the Siren’s calls.
The vessel was discovered using a remote-controlled submarine piloted by the scientists. It is laying on its side about 50 miles off the coast of Bulgaria in an area well known 'as a "shipwreck graveyard." The vessel is believed to be ancient Greek and is 23-meters (75 feet) long. It still has its mast, rudders and rowing benches all present and correctly in place.
Odysseus and the Sirens. Detail from an Attic red-figured stamnos  ca. 480-470 BC. From Vulci.

Acce...
Odysseus and the Sirens. Detail from an Attic red-figured stamnos, ca. 480-470 BC. From Vulci. Accession Number: GR 1843.11-3.31 (Cat. Vases E 440)
Jastrow
This latest vessel, like all the previous vessels found in the Black Sea's shipwreck graveyard, is very well preserved due to the anoxic conditions (absence of oxygen) of the Black Sea below 150 meters.
"A ship surviving intact from the classical world, lying in over 2km of water, is something I would never have believed possible,” said Professor Jon Adams, the principal investigator with the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (MAP), the team that made the find. “This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world.”
The project s main objective is to carry out geophysical surveys. But shipwrecks  including this one...
The project's main objective is to carry out geophysical surveys. But shipwrecks, including this one from the Ottoman period, have given new insights into how communities live on the shores of the Black Sea
University of Southampton’s Centre for Maritime Archaeology
The research team plans on leaving the vessel where it was found but did add that a small piece of the ship had been carbon dated by the University of Southampton and claimed the results “confirmed [it] as the oldest intact shipwreck known to mankind." The ship is a relic from 400 BC, and that is amazing.
Previous work by the MAP
In 2016, while researchers from MAP were studying sea level rise in the Black Sea during the last Ice Age, they uncovered over 40 shipwrecks that year, declaring their find as a “complete bonus.”
The Remotely Operate Vehicles (ROVs) captured the shipwrecks in stunning detail  including this intr...
The Remotely Operate Vehicles (ROVs) captured the shipwrecks in stunning detail, including this intricate stern of a ship from the Ottoman period.
University of Southampton’s Centre for Maritime Archaeology
Since 2016, 20 more ships have been discovered in the general area, showing us just how busy the Black Sea was in ancient times. Much of the colonial and commercial activities of ancient Greece and Rome, and of the Byzantine Empire, centered on the Black Sea.
When the Ottoman Turks occupied Constantinople after 1453, they changed its name to Istanbul, and the Black Sea was closed to foreign commerce. The Treaty of Paris, in 1856, forced the reopening of the Black Sea to commerce for all nations.
In total, the MAP finds have varied in age from a “17th-century Cossack raiding fleet, through Roman trading vessels, complete with amphorae, to a complete ship from the classical period”. And now, we can add the oldest shipwreck in the world.
More about Black sea, 2400yearsold, ship graveyard, ancient Greek, Maritime Archaeology Project