'Oldest Intact Shipwreck' Discovered in Black Sea

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The world's oldest intact shipwreck believes archaeologists have found it at the bottom of the Black Sea since it seems to have been there for over 2,400 years.

Researchers from the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (MAP) believe the ship is ancient Greek; it was discovered with its "mast, rudders and rowing benches all present and correct off the Bulgarian coast just over a mile below the surface". The team later took a small piece to be carbon dated by the University of Southampton, which "confirmed [it] as the oldest intact shipwreck known to mankind".

Over the past 600 years, Europe's Black Sea has been one of the maritime areas hit hardest by war and nationalism.

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Like the ship depicted on ancient vase 480 BC, which depicts the scene of the meeting of Odysseus with the sirens. The time of its creation coincides with the fact that dates and the emergence of the found ship. And on Tuesday, European researchers revealed some stunning details about a period when Greek ships crossed the Bosporus strait, loaded with goods to trade and risking storms and natural disasters. Before now, such vessels have only been seen as they were depicted artistically, such as on ancient Greek pottery.

It was one of 60 wrecks uncovered by a survey spanning 2,000 square kilometres using remote-controlled underwaters cameras.

With no light and no oxygen in the Black Sea's lower, anoxic layer, no life can survive. But sailors might have also been involved in "a little bit of raiding" of coastal communities around the Black Sea, he said.

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In addition to the relatively-undisturbed Greek merchant vessel, the team discovered more than six dozen other shipwrecks, varying in age from the 17th century to the early 19th century. In particular, it is a product of ancient shipbuilding is drawn on the world famous "Vase of sirens". For that reason, even centuries-old ships look as if they went down yesterday. The contents of the hold remain unknown, but the team will need more funding if they're to return to the wreck, the BBC reports.

"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.

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