The Black Sea Maritime Archaeological Project is involved in a major activity to unearth history from the seabed and locate shipwrecks of the Greek and Roman times. They have successfully located a nearly 2500-year-old ship from the depths of the Black Sea. It is more or less intact and bears a strong resemblance to a ship that appears on the body of a famous vase available in the British Museum.

Sky News reports that the team has so far located 72 shipwrecked vessels and carbon dating has established the age of the oldest one as from the 500 BC era.

This puts its age at approximately 2500 years. Another is from the 200 AD period. Dr Kroum Batchvarov, who is associated with the project, is excited at the find because it is “with the masts still standing, with the quarter rudders in place.”

The aim is to resurrect history

This particular project is a long drawn scientific investigation, where leading international institutions have put their heads together to understand how the Black Sea has influenced civilization. Sky News reports that a private trust is funding the project and Southampton University is involved in it.

The Black Sea has no oxygen, which is why the shipwrecks are preserved in as-is condition. Researchers have come across evidence to prove that many of the items have survived the passage of time. Detailed study of such a well preserved specimen will provide an insight into the intelligence levels of the men who created these marvels.

The team had access to various sophisticated equipment for delving into the depths of the oceans. These included advanced geophysical techniques that helped them to focus on not just the seabed but also at the layers beneath it. They also used remotely operated vehicles to map the area and capture three-dimensional images. Incidentally, the search of shipwrecks also revealed the presence of a Bronze Age settlement below the seabed.

Findings will help understand the past

According to Independent UK, the oldest shipwreck that lay at the bottom of the Black Sea was a 23-meter vessel and in all probability was a Greek trading ship. It lay some distance below the water near the coast of Bulgaria and the team of archaeologists, scientists and marine surveyors discovered it. They conducted carbon dating on a piece of the wreck to ascertain its age. In the opinion of experts, lack of oxygen in the region helped to preserve the material. The team has been on the job for three years and have located many of the wrecks. Their initial task was to examine the seabed for understanding the impact of prehistoric sea level change, and they ended up researching shipwrecks.