Scientists discover what they say is oldest intact shipweck

PRESS HANDOUT World's Oldest Intact Shipwreck Found by British Scientist. British Museum in London to Unveil the Story. Black Sea Maritime Archaeological Project. The Expedition has located and confirmed via carbon dating that the world?s oldest shipwrec

One such ship has now been discovered nearly completely intact at the bottom of the Black Sea at a depth of 1.2 miles, where oxygen levels are so low that marine life is virtually nonexistent.

The ship is believed to have been a trading vessel of a type that researchers say has only previously been seen "on the side of ancient Greek pottery such as the "Siren Vase" in the British Museum".

It's just one of several ancient vessels the Black Sea Archaeology project has found over the past three years.

The world's oldest intact shipwreck, believed to be an ancient Greek trading ship, has been discovered by researchers at the bottom of the Black Sea.

"This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world", said the project's principal investigator Professor Jon Adams.

The team reportedly said they meant to leave the vessel where it was found, but added that a small piece had been carbon dated by the University of Southampton and claimed the results "confirmed [it] as the oldest intact shipwreck known to mankind". The vase features the ship of Odysseus passing the Sirens. The ship was a trading vessel so could contain grain, gold, wine, oil or priceless metalwork.

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"It's like another world", Helen Farr, a member of the expedition, told the BBC.

The lack of oxygen in the water at the depth it was found at have meant that many features of the ship, such as the rudder, rowing benches, and some artefacts of cargo remain in a remarkably good condition. We understand the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Expedition conference will be making some of the data available to the Wellcome Collection in Euston, London, and we've asked it for further info.

During this time, they have found 60 wrecks including a 17th-century Cossack raiding fleet, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman vessels - and now this complete specimen from the Hellenic Golden Age.

Dr Kroum Batchvarov who worked on the project said: "It is the first of its kind, an absolutely incredible find, it is unique".

The expansive project is the subject of a new two-hour documentary, premiering tonight at the British Museum, which is hoped to be broadcasted by networks across the world.

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