Oldest Intact Shipwreck Found at the Bottom of the Black Sea

An ancient Greek trading vessel has been found at the bottom of the Black Sea. This vessel is likely the oldest intact shipwreck in the world. This trading vessel is of a design previously only seen on ancient Greek wine vessels, making it an historically monumental find.

BLACK SEA MAP/EEF EXPEDITIONS

Oldest Intact Shipwreck a Greek Trading Vessel

The vessel was detected in the Black Sea by the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology project. The project states that the wreck was detected at a depth of more than a mile below the surface. According to the project, the ship was found in an oxygen-free environment that has preserved the ship’s components for millennia. Two and a half millennia, to be exact.

Carbon dating of the ship’s components indicates that it is nearly 2,400 years old. According to people close to the project, it was made possible thanks to new surveying technology. Some 60 shipwrecks have been detected beneath the surface of the Black Sea thanks to these new technological advancements. Among them is a Cossack raiding fleet dated to the 1600’s.

Ancient Greek Trade

The ship could prove an invaluable look into ancient Greek trading and life. Much like Pompei served as an excellent window into Roman life, this wreck has been incredibly preserved. Everything from the ship’s rudder to its rowing benches has been preserved by the Black Sea’s unique chemical composition. According to the researches, the contents of the ship’s hold are even intact. However, the team will need further funding in order to return to the site to search the hold.

The find has been described as being “like stepping back in time.” In regard to its appearance, it strikes a remarkably similar look to that seen on the famous Siren Painter vase. The Siren Painter depicts Odysseus strapped to the mast of his boat as the Sirens call out to him and his men. This means that such a ship design may well have been a common sight in Ancient Greece.