The World's Oldest Intact Shipwreck Discovered In Black Sea

Clay Curtis
October 24, 2018

One such ship has now been discovered nearly completely intact at the bottom of the Black Sea at a depth of 1.2 miles, where oxygen levels are so low that marine life is virtually nonexistent.

The recently discovered shipwreck reveals details that are similar to the ship on this famed Ancient Greek vase, which dates to the 5th century B.C. and depicts Odysseus tied to the mast to courageous the sirens.

The discovery was made as part of the Black Sea Archaeological Project, a year-long scientific investigation led by worldwide institutions with the goal of exploring and understanding the way the Black Sea has changed and affected human civilisation.

The world's oldest intact shipwreck, believed to be an ancient Greek trading ship, has been discovered by researchers at the bottom of the Black Sea.

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. The find could drastically alter our understanding of 'ancient shipbuilding and seafaring'.

Numerous ships fit the description of trading vessels described or depicted in ancient literature and drawings, but never seen until now.

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The team intends to let the vessel remain where it has been undisturbed for the past 2,400 years, though a small piece was removed for carbon dating by the University of Southampton which placed the year of the wreck at approximately 500 BC. The vase depicts Homer's epic hero Odysseus, tied to the ship's mast in order to resist the sirens' songs.

The preservation of the Black Sea shipwreck is owed to the conditions of the water, which is oxygen-free and allows organic material to be sustained for thousands of years, the group said.

"It's like another world", Helen Farr, a member of the expedition, told the BBC. That includes a 17th-century raiding fleet launched by the Cossacks, a people who had by that time settled north of the Black Sea, near the border of modern Russian Federation and Ukraine.

Archaeologists believe they have found the world's oldest intact shipwreck.

The documentary team made a two-hour film that is due to be shown at the British Museum on Tuesday.

"This is an incredible find".

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