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13:34, 23 October 2018

Shipwreck located in Black Sea is &#039world&#039s oldest intact&#039

Shipwreck found in Black Sea is &#039world&#039s oldest intact&#039

Shipwreck located in Black Sea is &#039world&#039s oldest intact&#039

A Greek merchant ship dating back much more than two,400 years has been found lying on its side off the Bulgarian coast.

The 23m (75ft) wreck, discovered in the Black Sea by an Anglo-Bulgarian group, is being hailed as officially the world’s oldest identified intact shipwreck.

The researchers were stunned to locate the merchant vessel closely resembled in design and style a ship that decorated ancient Greek wine vases.

The rudder, rowing benches and even the contents of its hold remain intact.

“It’s like one more world,” Helen Farr from the expedition told the BBC.

“It is when the ROV [remote operated car] drops down via the water column and you see this ship seem in the light at the bottom so perfectly preserved it feels like you step back in time.”

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The explanation the trading vessel, dating back to about 400 BC, has remained in such excellent situation for so long is that the water is anoxic, or free of oxygen. Lying more than 2,000m under the surface, it is also beyond the attain of contemporary divers.

“It really is preserved, it really is protected,” she added. “It really is not deteriorating and it really is unlikely to attract hunters.”

The vessel was 1 of a lot of tracking among the Mediterranean and Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast. It was discovered a lot more than 80km off the Bulgarian city of Burgas.

The group used two underwater robotic explorers to map out a 3-D image of the ship and they took a sample to carbon-date its age.

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The vessel is similar in style to that depicted by the so-called Siren Painter on the Siren Vase in the British Museum. Dating back to around 480 BC, the vase shows Odysseus strapped to the mast as his ship sails previous three mythical sea nymphs whose tune was thought to drive sailors to their deaths.

As yet the ship’s cargo remains unknown and the team say they want more funding if they are to return to the internet site. “Generally we discover amphorae (wine vases) and can guess exactly where it’s come from, but with this it really is still in the hold,” said Dr Farr.

“As archaeologists we’re interested in what it can inform us about technologies, trade and movements in the region.”

More than the course of 3 years the academic expedition found 67 wrecks including Roman trading ships and a 17th Century Cossack trading fleet.

Published at Tue, 23 Oct 2018 12:03:01 +0000

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