Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Oldest complete shipwreck may hold treasures of classical world

PRESS HANDOUT World's Oldest Intact Shipwreck Found by British Scientist. British Museum in London to Unveil the Story. Black Sea Maritime Archaeological Project. The Expedition has located and confirmed via carbon dating that the world?s oldest shipwrec This intact shipwreck is the oldest ever discovered
Andrew Cummings | 26 October, 2018, 00:06

The Greek merchant ship is just one of more than 60 wrecks in the Black Sea discovered by an worldwide team of maritime archaeologists, scientists, and surveyors over the past three years.

It has been officially radiocarbon-dated to 400 B.C., after being first discovered by the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (Black Sea MAP) a year ago, according to a statement on October 23.

The shape and design of the ship bear great similarities to that of a ship seen on the famous "Siren Vase" that resides in the British Museum. According to AFP, the Black Sea MAP researchers claim it's the "oldest intact shipwreck known to mankind".

As for why the ancient ship is so well preserved, the water that it lies in is anoxic with no oxygen present.

The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project spent three years combing over a 2,000 square-kilometre section of the sea bed in an effort to better understand prehistoric sea level changes. The vessel is reminiscent of the ship depicted on the Siren Vase, which is kept at the British Museum. The time of its creation coincides with the fact that dates and the emergence of the found ship. 1299-1920), the spot was a deeper anchorage for trading vessels. The group says ships of the design they found last year had previously only been found in artwork such as the Siren Vase, an artifact dated several decades earlier than the ship.

The ship, laying more than a mile below the surface of the Black Sea, appears to be of the same construction. In particular, it is a product of ancient shipbuilding is drawn on the world famous "Vase of sirens".

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The Black Sea MAP project is a collaboration between the University of Southampton in Britain and the Bulgarian Centre for Underwater Archaeology, an independent institute under the the Ministry of Culture, as well as National Archaeological Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

As yet the ship's cargo remains unknown and the team needs more funding if it is to return to the site.

"Normally we find amphorae [wine vases] and can guess where it's come from, but with this it's still in the hold", Farr told the BBC.

Others found include Roman trading ships and a 17th-century Cossack raiding fleet.

The investigations turned up more than 60 shipwrecks, including some previously reported to date back to the Ottoman and Byzantine empires.

"So there's no life down there, apart from bacteria that can metabolize without oxygen", said Adams.

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