World’s ‘oldest intact shipwreck’ discovered in murky depths of Black Sea

The lack of oxygen in the Black Sea had helped to preserve the wreck an archaelogist explained

Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the world's oldest intact shipwreck at the bottom of the Black Sea where it appears to have lain undisturbed for more than 2,400 years.

The ship is believed to have been a trading vessel of a type that researchers say has only previously been seen "on the side of ancient Greek pottery such as the "Siren Vase" in the British Museum".

The Black Sea has always been an important trade route between Europe and Asia, meaning it's been a hub of activity for countless cultures and civilizations, including the Greeks, Persians, Scythians, Romans, Goths, Huns, Crusaders, and Ottomans, to name but a few.

The team announced the find Tuesday, saying its discovery has been "confirmed as the oldest intact shipwreck known to mankind". The find could drastically alter our understanding of 'ancient shipbuilding and seafaring'.

Edward Parker CEO of Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project, said: "Some of these ships have never been seen besides on murals and paintings".

The worldwide team of boffins has been on a three-year mission studying sea-level changes throughout history and their impact on the Black Sea, which is in Eastern Europe and surrounded by Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Over the course of the past three years The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (Black Sea MAP) mapped over 2000 sq km (772 sq miles) of the seabed in unprecedented detail using technology previously reserved for the oil and gas extraction industry.

The team found a Greek trading vessel during a survey in 2017.

A lack of oxygen in the Black Sea is thought to have preserved the vessel so well, that even bones from the Monkfish the sailors ate on board remained intact on deck.

The British Museum will host the "Lost Worlds - Deeper into the Black Sea" documentary on MAP's discoveries at 1:30 - 4:00pm on October 23.

In addition to dozens of shipwrecks, they found the remains of an early Bronze Age settlement under water near the former shore of the Black Sea.

Their exploration unearthed more than 60 shipwrecks, including Roman trading ships and a 17th century Cossack raiding fleet.

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