World's oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea

Greek Trading Ship More Than 2,400 Years Old Found Intact In Black Sea

World's oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea

Researchers with the university's Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project led an expedition to map the floor of the sea, which touches on Bulgaria, Turkey, the Ukraine and Russian Federation, among other countries.

It's believed to be from a Greek merchant ship.

Scientists combing the depths of the Black Sea were already excited, having found the remains of ships dating back several centuries during their three-year expedition.

The world's oldest intact shipwreck, complete with mast, rudders and rowing benches, has been found at the bottom of the Black Sea where it has been lying for more than 2,400 years.

"A ship, surviving intact, from the Classical world, lying in over 2km of water, is something I would never have believed possible", said project co-lead Professor Jon Adams of the U.K.'s University of Southampton, in a statement. "This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world".

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 vase depicts a scene from The Odyssey, in which Odysseus is strapped to the mast as he passes the deadly sirens.

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

"It's like another world", Helen Farr, a member of the expedition, told the BBC. It's managed to stay in such good condition for all these years thanks to the Black Sea's super-salty anoxic waters which are depleted of dissolved oxygen, allowing organic matter to remain preserved for centuries. Organizers plan to screen a two-hour documentary about this latest find at the British Museum. 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. But detailed scans of the Black Sea's floor revealed 60 astonishingly well-preserved shipwrecks.

Dr Kroum Batchvarov who worked on the project said: "It is the first of its kind, an absolutely incredible find, it is unique".

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