Research scientists discovered more than 40 vessels at the bottom of the Black Sea. They have been there for centuries and are perfectly preserved – literally a shipwreck graveyard.
Researchers found the ghostly shipwrecks only by good fortune while scanning the landscape of the seafloor at depths from 1,000 feet to almost 6,000 feet. There is so little oxygen at these depths that the wood in the construction of the vessels barely decays. This means wood that is several hundred years old, used to build the ships and even delicate carvings remain undamaged.
Today’s 3D imaging technology has brought the shipwrecks back to life from the murky depths with intricate photos of all 40 wrecks without disturbing the sea floor.
For a very long time, archaeologists thought there was a “dead zone” below the surface of the Black Sea, but there was no physical evidence that it existed. Now the researchers of the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project have made an astonishing discovery just off the coast of Bulgaria. This research and the discovery is directed by the University of Southampton’s Centre for Maritime Archaeology.
While mapping the landscape of the seabed, the team of researchers discovered more than three dozen preserved shipwrecked vessels from the Byzantine and Ottoman eras. They were scanning prehistoric terrain that has been underwater for thousands of years, after the last ice age, when sea levels rose. This underwater mapping was accomplished by using the newest high-tech underwater equipment, and it achieved amazing results.
Professor Jon Adams, the leader of the team of researchers, said that the shipwrecks are a captivating discovery and an absolute bonus in addition to the very successful results of our widespread geophysical analysis. The vessels are astonishingly well-preserved because of the lack of oxygen conditions of the Black Sea below 500 feet.
Using the latest 3D imaging techniques to capture amazing pictures of submerged artifacts and this technology allows us to capture these astonishing images without disturbing the sea floor. We are now among the best advocates practicing this methodology and definitely, nobody has achieved surveys on shipwrecks at these depths that are this complete.
The researchers are searching for evidence of ancient colonies on the submerged coastline. The research team is using two remote-controlled underwater vehicles to search the seabed, and they are assembling a collection of high-resolution 3D pictures that show their astounding discovery, reported.
The 40-plus vessels on the seabed of the Black Sea are thought to be from the Byzantine Empire that reigned over the territory from 330 AD and the Ottoman Empire that seized control in 1453 AD. This discovery is the first of its kind ever seen, and it is hoped that it will shed new light on the commercial activities of the colonies during this time period.