Oldest intact shipwreck discovered at the bottom of the Black Sea
Oldest intact shipwreck discovered at the bottom of the Black Sea
World's oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea
23 October, 2018, 22:33
The preservation is so incredible that the bones of the monkfish being eaten by the crew at the time the ship went down have been perfectly preserved on the deck.
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 team, which includes British, Bulgarian, Swedish, US and Greek marine archaeologists and maritime scientists, said the vessel was found at a depth of more than 2km.
A team of researchers from Britain and Bulgaria found the skeleton of a Greek trading vessel during an exhaustive survey of 772 square miles (2,000 sq km) of seabed.
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The shipwreck design also bears a resemblance to the vessel depicted on the "Siren Vase", which dates back to around 480BC, now displayed at the British Museum.
The years-long Black Sea project is funded by the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, and has cost in the region of £15 million ($19.4 million) so far. 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.
The "Siren Vase" in the British Museum: the shipwreck is believed to be a vessel similar to that shown bearing Odysseus.
The shipwreck was discovered during late 2017, archaeologists confirmed Tuesday.
The team reportedly said they meant to leave the vessel where it was found, but added that a small piece had been carbon dated by the University of Southampton and claimed the results "confirmed [it] as the oldest intact shipwreck known to mankind".
The expansive project is the subject of a new two-hour documentary, premiering tonight at the British Museum, which is hoped to be broadcasted by networks across the world.
During the 3-year project, researchers used specialist remote deep-water camera systems previously used in offshore oil and gas exploration to map the sea floor.
It's among more than 60 shipwrecks uncovered by the global team of maritime archaeologists and scientists working on the $19 million, three-year mission to explore the Black Sea's depths.
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"This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world", said research project team member Jon Adams.
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