As part of the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project, marine archaeologists and researchers have reportedly found the wreckage of a Greek trading ship, which is believed to be more than 2,400 years old, at the bottom of the Black Sea.
The researchers used remotely operated underwater vehicles to examine the ship and collected a sample and carbon-dated it to around 400 B.C, a time when the Black Sea was a trading hub filled with Greek colonies. The data confirm that the vessel is the world’s oldest intact shipwreck ever found, according to The University of Southampton.
The researchers spotted the ship at a depth of 1.2 miles in oxygen-free conditions that left it in a remarkable state of preservation. The team used 3D mapping instruments to generate a detailed model of the wreck as it sits silently more than 6,500 feet below the surface.
” A ship, surviving intact, from the Classical world, lying in over 2km of water, is something I would never have believed possible,” Jon Adams, the Black Sea MAP’s principal investigator and an archaeology professor at the University of Southampton, said in a news release. “This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world.”
Until now, the Black Sea MAP has already surveyed more than 772 square miles (2,000 square kilometers) of the Black Sea seabed and found more than 60 shipwrecks including Roman trading ships carrying amphorae and a 17th Century Cossack trading fleet over the course of three years.
The team said the 23m (75ft) long sunken ship vessel was previously only seen in an intact state on the side of ancient Greek pottery. It is similar in style to that depicted by the so-called Siren Painter on the Siren Vase in the British Museum.