Perfectly preserved ancient shipwrecks found in depths of Black Sea

Perfectly preserved ancient shipwrecks found in depths of Black Sea

ISTANBUL
Perfectly preserved ancient shipwrecks found in depths of Black Sea

Photo Credit: Rodrigo Pacheco-Ruiz

More than 40 ancient shipwrecks from the Ottoman and Byzantine periods have been found during a mapping expedition in the depths of the Black Sea where there is no light and no oxygen, the Daily Mail has reported. 

The expedition has been scouring the waters 1,800 meters below the surface of the Black Sea using an off-shore vessel equipped with some of the most advanced underwater equipment in the world.

The vessel is on an expedition mapping submerged ancient landscapes which were inundated with water following the last Ice Age.

The project, known Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (Black Sea MAP), involves an international team led by the University of Southampton’s Center for Maritime Archaeology.

 “We’re endeavoring to answer some hotly-debated questions about when the water level rose, how rapidly it did so and what effects it had on human populations living along this stretch of the Bulgarian coast of the Black Sea,” Professor Jon Adams, principle investigator on the project, told the Daily Mail.

“The primary focus of this project is to carry out geophysical surveys to detect former land surfaces buried below the current sea bed, take core samples and characterize and date them, and create a palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of Black Sea prehistory,” Adams added.

Among the wrecks are ships from the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires, which provide new information on the communities on the Black Sea coast. 

“The wrecks are a complete bonus, but a fascinating discovery, found during the course of our extensive geophysical surveys,” Adams said. 

“They are astonishingly preserved due to the anoxic conditions [absence of oxygen] of the Black Sea below 150 meters. Using the latest 3D recording technique for underwater structures, we’ve been able to capture some astonishing images without disturbing the sea bed. We are now among the very best exponents of this practice methodology and certainly no-one has achieved models of this completeness on shipwrecks at these depths,” he added.