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This ancient Greek cargo ship is the oldest intact shipwreck ever discovered

The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology project says it found the wreck off the Bulgarian coast at a depth of two kilometres (1.2 miles) in oxygen-free conditions that preserved its components. (Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project)

PortandTerminal.com, March 7, 2019

The Greeks have a very, very long history in shipping.

Last October an archaeological survey expedition called the “Black Sea Maritime Archaeological Project” discovered a Greek shipwreck about 80km (49.7 miles) from the Bulgarian city of Burgas.

A pair of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) made a 3D map of the site and took a sample of wood for radiocarbon dating, which suggest that the ship was built around 2,400 years ago. That would make it the oldest, intact shipwreck ever found.


The shipwreck was discovered about 80km (49.7 miles) from the Bulgarian city of Burgas.

The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology project says it found the wreck off the Bulgarian coast at a depth of two kilometres (1.2 miles) in oxygen-free conditions that kept it preserved. Until its discovery, last October, this type of ancient ship had only ever been seen on Greek vases from the period.


Until the wreck’s discovery last October, a ship of its type had only ever been seen on ancient Greek vases

The ship looks as if it could have sunk to the bottom of the ocean yesterday.

Natalie Haynes, The Guardian

The ship looks as if it could have sunk to the bottom of the ocean yesterday. Its mast stands proud, its rowing benches are in neat lines. The contents of its hold are also intact but not yet examined.

If they include amphorae, the style and contents of the jars may enable researchers to work out more about the ship’s origin and destination.

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