A 2000-year-old perfectly preserved Roman ship and 59 other ancient shipwrecks were found in the azure waters of the Black Sea as Black Sea MAP continues their marine archaeological project. All the shipwrecks discovered are reportedly from the Byzantine era to the 19th century, covering 2,500 years of maritime history.
Black Sea MAP involves an international team led by the University of Southampton’s Centre for Maritime Archaeology. The project wasn’t really focused on discovering ancient shipwrecks when they started. According to IFL Science, their initial goal was to make geophysical surveys of the Black Sea in order to learn the effects of climate change in the environment along the Bulgarian coast.
However, during their journey, they discovered interesting things underwater which led them to widen the scope of their research. At least 60 ancient shipwrecks have already been found at the bottom of the Black Sea in the span of three years, a discovery they described as “unrivaled.” They managed to capture photos of the ships in areas which can be called a “ship graveyard” using two remotely operated vehicles (ROV) with high-resolution 3D cameras as well as high-definition cameras, a laser scanner, lights, and geophysical equipment.
According to Black Sea MAP CEO Ed Parker, some of the ships they discovered had only been seen on murals and mosaics. The shipwrecks they found were also perfectly preserved. This is because the Black Sea is anoxic. Organisms that feed on organic things can’t live on the location of the ships because of the absence of oxygen and there is a little amount of light passing.
One of their latest discoveries is a 2,000-year-old Roman ship buried in the seabed. The mast, tillers, and the rope of the ship remain intact.
”We have never seen anything like this before,” said Dr Kroum Batchvarov, from the University of Connecticut, in an emailed statement. “This is history in the making unfolding before us.”
Professor Jon Adams revealed that Black Sea MAP is towards the end of their third season and has acquired more than 800 miles of the survey. The researchers decided to keep the ship’s locations secret in order to protect them while studying them. Luckily for interested people, Black Sea MAP discoveries can be watched on the television soon as the team is working with a crew, who previously worked on BBC.
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