An international team of researchers, which is supported by the University of Southampton is exploring the bottom of the Black sea off the Bulgarian coast, said about the unique discovery. At a depth of over 150 metres, in a zone where there is no oxygen, completely intact, was found about 40 ancient ships, including those types that still was familiar to scholars only by description.
The purpose of the Maritime archaeological project “the Black sea” (Black Sea M. A. P.) is primarily a study of the topography of the seabed, thousands of years ago, reclaimed from the sea from the land at the end of the last ice age.
“We tried to answer some hotly debated questions about when the water level rose as fast he did it and what consequences the incident had for the human populations that lived on this stretch of the Bulgarian Black sea coast,” says Professor John Adams, founder and Director of the centre for Maritime archaeology at the University of Southampton.
Thanks to the participation of international research centers and attracting sponsors, scientists were able to Charter a research vessel and begin to work with two unmanned underwater vehicles. One of them is designed for video recording and 3D images in high resolution. Another apparatus, which the report called “revolutionary” because of its technical characteristics, carries a set of geophysical equipment. In the course of research he has set several records, for example, sank to a depth of over 1800 meters and covered a distance of 1250 kilometers.
During studies of the black sea bottom, scientists have discovered and examined a unique collection of more than 40 sunken ships, many of which belong to types of vessels, known only from historical sources. Some of the ships belong to the Ottoman and Byzantine empires, and can serve as sources of new knowledge about the Maritime relations of the inhabitants of the black sea coast, their lifestyle and ways of navigation.
“Fragments represent a real gift, it’s a fascinating discovery, as they are remarkably preserved due to anoxia – absence of oxygen in the waters of the Black sea at a depth of over 150 meters,” says Professor Adams.
As reported by “Bulgarian Express”, Sofia gave the Bulgarian Centre for underwater archaeology and Southampton University in the UK permission to conduct the first large-scale archaeological research project on the bottom of the Black sea in June last year. The project was implemented on the basis of the UNESCO Convention on the preservation of the cultural underwater heritage. It was assumed that the work of underwater archaeologists will take three years, another year will be required for final processing and analysis of the information received.
The studies also involved experts from Sweden, USA and Greece.