Researchers found the oldest intact shipwreck on the seabed of the Black Sea.
The antique vessel was discovered in a section of the eastern European sea that has already disclosed over 60 additional shipwrecks after the most technologically advanced search ever.
However, carbon dating indicates that this is the oldest ship ever unearthed, and it is thought to be a 2,500-year-old Greek trading vessel.
As part of the Black Sea Maritime Archaeological Project, it was founded in late 2017. It seems to have a similar design with the ship displayed on the ‘Siren Vase,’ a piece of ancient Greek pottery on display at the British Museum right now.
‘We have a complete ship, with the masts still standing, with the quarter rudders in place,’ said Dr. Kroum Batchvarov.
‘It’s a fantastic discovery. It’s the first of its sort in history.’
It was discovered 1.3 miles beneath the surface of the Black Sea in conditions that are classified as anoxic due to the lack of oxygen.
The lack of oxygen contributed to the excellent preservation of the boat. Monkfish bones were discovered on the deck, indicating what the sailors were consuming at the time.
Dr. Batchvarov added, “We even have the coils of line and rope still in the stern as the boatswain left them when the ship went down.”
‘This is unique.’
According to Jon Adams, the project’s chief scientist, the ship sank in a storm, and the crew could not drain out the water in time.
I can’t believe there is a vessel from the Classical world surviving intact in over 2 kilometers of water,’ he said.
“Our knowledge about shipbuilding and navigation in the ancient world will change thanks to this discovery.”
The Black Sea Maritime Archaeological Project team is unable to salvage the ship because of the high cost of doing so and the time and effort required to disassemble and reassemble it without damaging it.
The find is one of 67 shipwrecks discovered in the area.
Galleys from the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires have been uncovered in the past, dating back over 2,500 years.
Scientists discovered the graveyard while surveying the consequences of climate change along the Bulgarian coast with underwater robots.
An international team led by the University of Southampton’s Centre for Maritime Archaeology has been working on the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project for several years. It has cost roughly £15 million so far.
‘Some of the ships we unearthed had only been seen on murals and mosaics until this point,’ said Ed Parker, CEO of Black Sea MAP.
‘On one medieval commerce vessel, the towers on the bow and stern are still largely intact.
“It’s like you are watching a vessel on a movie with ropes on the deck and carvings in the wood.
When seeing the ship, I was extremely excited. Nothing compares to what we’ve discovered.”
The team keeps secret several of the other wrecks’ details and locations to ensure that they remain undisturbed.