In front of the coast of Bulgaria, underwater archaeologists have discovered an ancient Greek merchant ship at 2000 meters depth. It is the oldest known intact shipwreck ever.
It looks as if it had just set. Archaeologists have discovered an exceptionally well preserved historic wreck in the Black Sea.
It lies off the Bulgarian coast at a depth of about 2000 meters on the seabed, explained the team of the Black Sea Maritime Archeology Project.
The largely undamaged shipwreck lies on the side, mast and rudder are still intact.
According to the researchers, the find is more than 2400 years old Greek merchant ship, it is about 23 meters long. The radiocarbon dating of a small sample has confirmed “that it is the oldest intact shipwreck known to mankind,” it said in the statement.
The location of the wreck is a stroke of luck for the experts: Here, the water at such a depth of the sea contains no oxygen, so organic material remains preserved for thousands of years.
“An intact ship from antiquity two kilometers deep – I would never have thought that’s possible,” said Jon Adams of the University of Southampton, the initiator of the project. “That will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in antiquity.” Such ships have been seen only on ancient Greek ceramics.
What has not been explored so far is what the ship once loaded. In order to investigate the wreck in more detail, it would require a larger funding of the project, the researchers said.
For their project, the scientists mapped 2000 square kilometers of Black Sea soil off the coast of Bulgaria for three years using a sonar and a remote-controlled deep-sea camera system used to search for oil and gas deposits.
They discovered about 60 wrecks, including Roman ships and an assault fleet of the Cossacks from the 17th century. Among the spectacular finds was also the Greek merchant ship.