SEVERE WX : Freeze Watch View Alerts

This is the world's oldest intact shipwreck

More than a mile below the surface of the Black Sea, researchers have found a ship so old they never expecte...

Posted: Oct 26, 2018 10:28 AM
Updated: Oct 26, 2018 10:28 AM

More than a mile below the surface of the Black Sea, researchers have found a ship so old they never expected to see one like it.

The members of the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project successfully radiocarbon dated a small piece of the ship to 400 BC. That makes this the oldest intact shipwreck ever discovered.

Accidents

Accidents, disasters and safety

History and historical discoveries

Humanities and social sciences

Ship and boat accidents

Anthropology and archeology

Black Sea

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Marine transportation

Marine vessels

Oceans and Seas (by name)

Physical locations

Transportation and warehousing

"A ship, surviving intact, from the Classical world, lying in over 2 kilometers of water, is something I would never have believed possible," said University of Southampton professor Jon Adams, the Black Sea MAP's principal investigator. "This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world."

The ship was a Greek trading vessel, which researchers matched to ancient Greek pottery like the "Siren Vase," on display at the British Museum.

"There are ships down there that have never been seen apart from in murals and paintings and in books, and this is the first time they have been seen since they were afloat," said Edward Parker, CEO of Black Sea MAP.

Over the last three years, the global group of researchers have used remotely operated underwater vehicle surveyors, equipped with high-resolution cameras, flashes and lasers to map the floor of the Black Sea. The kind of technology they used has previously only been available for oil, gas and renewable energy companies.

"The purpose of the entire project is to study sea level rise throughout the past 10,000 years through the perspective of human societies that lived along the shores of the Black Sea and the way that humans reacted to a changing environment," said Dragomir Garbov, team member and maritime archaeologist at the Centre for Underwater Archaeology. "We have discovered fantastic evidence for seafaring in the Black Sea."

Overall, they have found more than 60 shipwrecks, including a 17th-century Cossack raiding fleet and Roman trading vessels still laden with goods. The ships that sank here are from multiple locations because of trade routes.

The Greek ship is remarkably well-preserved because the depths of the Black Sea lack oxygen.

"We have a complete vessel with the mast still standing with the quarter rudders in place," said team member Kroum Batchvarov, assistant professor of maritime archaeology at the University of Connecticut's anthropology department and the Maritime Studies Program. "It is [an] incredible find. The first of its kind ever. We even have the coils of rope still as the bosun left them in the stern when the ship went down."

They were even able to recover medieval rope from a ship.

"We're talking entirely preserved shipwrecks that literally look as if they had sunk yesterday," Garbov said. "We're looking at a snapshot of a moment in time, probably as long as a thousand years ago. We're looking at the last moment in the life of a ship."

The ship itself will stay on the sea floor, where it can remain preserved. The data gathered by the remotely operated underwater vehicles was sent to 3-D printers, which were able to create a small-scale replica of the wreck. This will enable future generations with even better technology to use their skills to learn even more about the ship, according to Dani Newman, the team's primary science mentor.

"This shows how amazing our maritime heritage is," Newman said. "It really is the story of all of us, of how we got to where we are in this world."

But the team has found more than just ships, including an early Bronze Age settlement at Ropotamo in Bulgaria, which is now more than 8 feet below the seabed itself. When the sea level was lower, this would have been the ancient shoreline -- likely abandoned when the water rose. House timbers, ceramics and hearths were found.

"We've discovered where the Paleo landscape was in about 9000 BC," Parker said. "That's where men and women were living, and now its buried under the sea."

The team believes what they can learn from these ships could fill in some of history's gaps.

"We the archaeologists are in the role of Sherlock Holmes," said Batchvarov. "We're gathering the clues, and the more accurately we gather them and the relationship between the clues, the more probable it is for us to reverse-engineer what happened."

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 45°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 42°
Rensselaer
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 33°
Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 45°
Danville
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 41°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 39°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 39°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 39°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 39°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 43°
Some More Frost & Light Freezing Ahead......
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 707111

Reported Deaths: 13216
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion963501718
Lake51613944
Allen39106671
Hamilton34449405
St. Joseph33979539
Elkhart27255432
Vanderburgh22060394
Tippecanoe21765212
Porter17945298
Johnson17507374
Hendricks16786310
Clark12681190
Madison12338337
Vigo12204244
Monroe11443166
LaPorte11118204
Delaware10341184
Howard9652211
Kosciusko9114114
Hancock7964139
Bartholomew7880155
Warrick7681155
Floyd7555176
Wayne6895198
Grant6837171
Boone6541100
Morgan6390138
Dubois6079117
Marshall5779108
Dearborn569876
Cass5683102
Henry5572100
Noble540683
Jackson493069
Shelby478495
Lawrence4338118
Gibson427989
Harrison427670
Clinton418653
Montgomery417786
DeKalb409184
Huntington378680
Whitley377939
Miami372465
Knox365989
Steuben364457
Putnam352560
Jasper350146
Wabash347678
Adams337952
Ripley334568
Jefferson312980
White308154
Daviess289299
Wells286281
Decatur278792
Fayette277162
Greene270685
Posey268533
Scott261053
Clay253244
LaGrange252470
Randolph235280
Washington230731
Spencer227631
Jennings224747
Fountain208445
Sullivan207742
Starke203952
Owen192156
Fulton191439
Jay186029
Carroll185720
Perry180236
Orange177253
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton160943
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130234
Pulaski113645
Newton103534
Brown100040
Crawford97614
Benton96713
Martin82615
Warren79615
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55711
Unassigned0408

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events