Published: Wed, October 24, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

World's oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea

World's oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea

Radiocarbon-dated to roughly 400 B.C., the trading vessel plied the waves in the days of Plato and Sophocles, when the city-states of ancient Greece had scattered colonies all around the Black Sea.

More than 60 shipwrecks were discovered by the worldwide team of maritime archaeologists with the second oldest being carbon dated to 200 AD.

The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (Black Sea MAP) is a joint venture involving experts from the United Kingdom and Bulgaria.

Professor John Adams, Black Sea Map's principal investigator said: "A ship surviving intact from the Classical world, lying in over 2km, is something I would have never believed possible".

An ancient Greek ship has been discovered in excellent condition by a team of researchers in the Black Sea.

It's certainly right up there with the most fascinating shipwreck discoveries of recent times, including finds in the Caribbean Sea and off the coast of Australia.

"This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world", he added.

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 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 group says ships of the design they found last year had previously only been found in artwork such as the Siren Vase, an artifact dated several decades earlier than the ship.

The artefact shows Odysseus, hero of Homer's epic poem The Odyssey, bound to the mast of a vessel as Sirens circle overhead, trying to lure sailors on to the rocks with their enchanting songs.

"Normally we find amphorae [wine vases] and can guess where it's come from, but with this it's still in the hold", said Dr Farr.

It's well preserved condition is due to the Black Sea water being free of oxygen beyond a depth of 150 metres.

In addition to the relatively-undisturbed Greek merchant vessel, the team discovered more than six dozen other shipwrecks, varying in age from the 17th century to the early 19th century.

Various outlets have been reporting that the British Museum is showing a two-hour documentary about the discovery today, but The Reg rang BM and a patient chap named Owen told us it was a "private screening".

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