Probably the oldest shipwreck in the world ever found by man it is lying on the seabed of the Black Sea for 2400 years, practically intact off Bulgarian coast.
A 23 meters long vessel, used for trade and originally from classical Greece has been discovered by a team of archaeologists led by the British Joe Adams in the framework of a fascinating submarine research program called Black Sea Maritime Archeology Project.
The shipwreck is located at about 2000 meters below sea level – and for the time being intended to remain there -, is complete with tree, rudder and posts for the rowers. And its exceptional state of conservation is due to the conditions of lack of oxygen at that depth, as well as to the particular habitat of a closed and prehistoric basin such as the Black Sea.
“A surviving shipwreck intact from the classical era, at 2 km of depth, it’s something I never thought possible to see,” Professor Adams told. “This is a discovery that will change our knowledge and our compression of shipbuilding and maritime activities in the ancient world“, he added.
A carbon 14 test was also carried out by researchers from the UK University of Southampton who were able to analyze small pieces of the wreck delivered to the surface. And this examination also confirmed the estimated age of about 2400 years.
The shipwreck is believed to represent the vessel of Ulysses at the time of the meeting with the Sirens narrated poetically by Homer in the Odyssey. However, Adams has confirmed that his ‘ship of Ulysses‘ will not see the light for now.
The team said their findings varied in age from a “17th-century Cossack raiding fleet, through Roman trading vessels, complete with amphorae, to a complete ship from the classical period”.