An ancient Greek merchant ship dating back more than 2,400 years found virtually intact at bottom of Black Sea by an Anglo-Bulgarian team

An ancient Greek merchant ship dating back more than 2,400 years has been found virtually intact at the bottom of the Black Sea by an Anglo-Bulgarian team. An international team of maritime archaeologists believed that the 23m (75ft) wreck is the world’s oldest intact shipwreck where it appears to have lain undisturbed for more than 2,400 years. The vessel is one of more than 60 shipwrecks identified by the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project including Roman ships and a 17th-century Cossack raiding fleet. The ship, which is lying on its side with its mast and rudders intact, was dated back to 400 BC — a time when the Black Sea was a trading hub filled with Greek colonies. The project team said the vessel, previously only seen in an intact state on the side of ancient Greek pottery, was found at a depth of more than 2,000 metres (6,500 feet). The water at that depth is oxygen-free, meaning that organic material can be preserved for thousands of years. The project’s main investigator said that this would change the understanding of ship building and seafaring in the ancient world.

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