'Oldest Intact Shipwreck Known To Mankind' Found In Depths Of Black Sea

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A small piece of the forgotten vessel was taken for tests and carbon dated to 400BC, making it the "oldest intact shipwreck known to mankind", according to the group.

The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project says it found the wreck of the Greek trading vessel off the coast of Bulgaria at a depth of 1.2 miles.

Professor Adams, who is Black Sea MAP's principal investigator, said: "A ship, surviving intact, from the Classical world, lying in over 2km of water, is something I would never have believed possible".

Researchers have discovered what they say is the world's oldest intact shipwreck at the bottom of the Black Sea.

An global team of scientists and researchers have stumbled upon an ancient discovery at the bottom of the Black Sea.

The recently discovered shipwreck reveals details that are similar to the ship on this famed Ancient Greek vase, which dates to the 5th century B.C. and depicts Odysseus tied to the mast to fearless the sirens. Incredibly, modern eyes have only seen this type of ship before as an illustration on the "Siren Vase", a stunningly decorated vase depicting the ship of Odysseus, which is now in the British Museum. Dating back to around 480 BC, the vase shows Odysseus strapped to the mast as his ship sails past three mythical sea nymphs whose tune was thought to drive sailors to their deaths. The find could drastically alter our understanding of 'ancient shipbuilding and seafaring'.

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"Normally we find amphorae (wine vases) and can guess where it's come from, but with this it's still in the hold", said Dr Helen Farr, a marine archaeologist from the University of Southampton, which was part of the expedition.

MAP scientists credit the Black Sea's oxygen-free water with preserving the vessel's condition, where they carbon-dated material from the wreckage to confirm the artifact's age.

Ancient Greek ships decorate this highly glazed pottery cup or crater, in this file image, circa 1959.

A documentary on the project has opened at the British Museum in London on Tuesday.

The Black Sea has always been an important trade route between Europe and Asia, meaning it's been a hub of activity for countless cultures and civilizations, including the Greeks, Persians, Scythians, Romans, Goths, Huns, Crusaders, and Ottomans, to name but a few.