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The world's oldest intact shipwreck was only found, dating back to 400 BC

Trade was fast on the Black Sea around 400 BC. Well-fed by East Asian cereals and operated by slave labor,…

Trade was fast on the Black Sea around 400 BC.

Well-fed by East Asian cereals and operated by slave labor, large coastal towns had risen along their beaches and now buzzed with merchants engaged in Greek, Persian, Sycytic

The Graecan trade sends crossed commercial seamen who ferry exotic goods among the Black Sea ports on way back west.

But in big storms, more than a few ships fell into the sea and out of memory

Now a ship has returned after slipping under the waves for more than two billion – and it could give the clearest glimpse than life under Black Sea farmer’s time.

Researchers with the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project announced Tuesday that they have discovered the world’s oldest intact shipwreck &#821

1; a 2,400-year-old Greek merchant vessel that seems to have been frozen in time more than a mile underwater.

“A narrow I’ve been cold dated, and it is confirmed as the oldest intact shipwreck known for humanity,” the project says in a statement.

The approximately 75-foot vessel, which was about 50 miles off the coast of Bulgaria, dating back to about 400 BC – when the Black Sea was dotted with trade colonies tied to various Greek city states like Athens and Sparta.

It is the oldest of more than 60 such ships from the Roman, Ottoman and Byzantine empires as the project stumbled upon while investigating the effects of the sea level rise on the Black Sea, according to researchers.

Intact ships of its ilk have survived to a great extent only in paintings and ceramics, such as

Project member Helen Farr told the BBC that her The historical discovery of the group was amazing in terms of the information it can now provide.

“It’s like another world” Farr said the ghostly vision under the waves.

“It’s when ROV [remote operated vehicle] descends through the water column and you see that this ship pops up in the bottom so perfectly preserved – it feels like you’re back in time,”

The old wreck believed the due due to a geological quirk of the Black Sea that creates pockets of acid-dependent water that is harmless to the microorganisms that usually munch shipwreck in oblivion.

“What they found in the Black Sea is so spectacular as it is the superstructure on the ship,” said Professor Brock University and classic shipwreck expert Elizabeth Greene The Post.

“The rails, the mast, the harbors for rowers – these are the kind of discoveries that you would probably only find in that kind of environment.”

The ship’s cargo, however, is still a mystery for now.

The archaeological project has no money to crack open the wreck and catalog its treasure

Similar wrecks have been shown to contain wine stored in old pots known as amphorae.

But sacks of grain, fur, seafood and slaves were also often traded along the old Black Sea routes, according to Antonis Kotsonas, a deputy professor of Mediterranean history and archeology at the NYU Institute for Studies of the Old World.

“The degree of retention is really amazing,” he told the post.

The famous Siren Vase showing Homer hero Odysseus contradicts mythological sirens Getty Images

“It promises important findings in the wreck. at least, to a certain extent, and this will also be very important. “

The Wrecket resembles the destroyed ship immortalized on the Sirenvas.

The Greek ceramic giant shows Odysseus confronting the mythological sirens of his epic trek that followed the Trojan War, crowned in the “Odyssey”.

Siren’s song believed to attract sailors to the water graves, so Odysseus instructed their men to plug their ears with wax.

The curious hero, but wanted to hear his voices, so he hit the boat’s mast to keep from wandering into the ocean at his whining chantey.

The resemblance to the famous ceramics has caught observers’ attention and imagination – but experts say that real sailors who sailed aboard the ship were almost not as revered as Homer’s heroes.

“Greeks did not like much about seamen,” said Kotsonas, adding: “There is this stereotype in ancient Greek culture that agriculture is the source of all the money while the ocean has a corruptive effect on humans.”

“Accordingly, they were seen people who practice maritime trade – sometimes even those who gave the capital of this trade – because of this stereotype. “

The newly discovered shipwreck was estimated to reach 15 to 25 sailors, but no bodies were found, either because they were buried during sediment or because the corpse declined over the years, researchers said.

It is safe to assume that the seamen’s socioeconomic status were low and that they contained a robust blend of ethnic groups, according to Kotsonas.

“It’s like another world”

“Crew on an old boat can be as international as crew on modern boats,” he said.

“It is reasonable to assume Greek [was spoken aboard] but at the same time these people were traders, and they had to download some other languages ​​to facilitate their work. “[1 9659002] Although crew and cargo remains a mystery, the boat itself is already challenging assumptions about ancient sea transport, according to Greene.

Most merchant ships trusted sail while warships were driven by humans and vines

The newly discovered wreck seemed to however, use both.

“We do not usually think of these combination ships – whether merchant ships sailed or warships that were fun. So if this is a combination, it would be some kind of interesting hybrid vessels that would be unusual, says Greene.

“It’s an exciting discovery. It’s tantalizing.”

Unfortunately, for history buffs, the ship can never see today’s light. Raising the ship would be a herculean task that could jeopardize its structural integrity and its load, experts said.

The Black Sea Maritime Archeology Project has photographed and 3-D mapped the wreck using a pair of remote controlled submarines.

Team members are planning to publish their findings during a conference at Wellcome Collection in London later this week.

With Wire Services

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