The Black Sea is considered to be one of the world’s finest under water laboratories due to the anoxic (un-oxygenated) layer which preserves artifacts better than any other marine environment.

Somewhat recently, the Maritime Archeology Project, was surveying the seafloor some 50 miles off the coast of Burgas, Bulgaria using a high tech remote deepsea camera when they made an incredible discovery.

They found a 2,400 year old Ottoman merchant ship.

The 75-foot-long wooden ship was radiocarbon-dated to circa 400 BC.

2,400 year old Black Sea shipwreck (Burgas, Bulgaria)

The design resembles a ship motif that decorated Ancient Greek wine vases such as the Siren Vase from the British Museum, which dates from ca. 480 BC, and features Odysseus.

The ship remains remarkably well preserved because the Black Sea’s depths are oxygen-free. This has allowed experts to examine elements of ancient ship construction for the first time, including the design of the mast, twin rudders, and rowing benches.

“A ship, surviving intact, from the Classical world is something I would never have believed possible,” says Jon Adams of the University of Southampton. “This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world.”

The team from Black Sea Mystery used a supporter – a device fitted with a camera – to plunge 500 feet down into the depths of the waters. Oxygen at this level disappears, in what Sky History described as a “dead zone” – meaning the vessel discovered was incredibly well preserved.

2,400 year old Black Sea shipwreck (Burgas, Bulgaria)

The teams found wooden balustrades around the ship’s quarterdeck, ropes for working the sails and more fascinating artifacts.

The experts highlighted that in another sea, the ship wouldn’t have been as well preserved.

However, the Black Sea has become synonymous with centuries old vessels being discovered in excellent condition.

Partnering with maritime archaeologists from across Europe and the United States, MAP’s mission was to study how sea-level change affected early human societies around the end of the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago.

2,400 year old Black Sea shipwreck (Burgas, Bulgaria)

As Earth warmed and glacial ice melted, sea levels rose.

Water from the Mediterranean spilled over into Asia Minor, creating the Black Sea.

Vello Mass, a researcher who pinpointed many of these ships told CBS news about the boats languishing at the bottom of the sea long before some of the sea’s most famous finds.

He said: “There are hundreds of Viking ships out there, hundreds of old trading ships, hundreds of warships. The Baltic Sea is an archaeological paradise.”

2,400 year old Black Sea shipwreck (Burgas, Bulgaria)

The Black Sea is also where Mars, a Swedish warship that was built between 1563 and 1564 and leading ship of King Eric XIV of Sweden’s fleet, was found. The vessel was “the biggest warship of its time when it was built“, according to the researchers who discovered it. In 1564, during the Northern Seven Years’ War, she caught fire and exploded during the First battle of Oland in the Baltic Sea.

Maritime Archeology Project Black Sea

2,400 year old Black Sea shipwreck (Burgas, Bulgaria)
2,400 year old Black Sea shipwreck (Burgas, Bulgaria)

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