An ancient shipwreck found in the Black Sea is providing a remarkable record of ancient sea trade in Europe. The merchant ship, which spans 23 metres, is believed to be of Greek origin and sank over 2,400 years-ago.
It was discovered off the Burgas coast in Bulgaria lying on her side. Having sat undisturbed in its silent, watery grave for so long, the wreck has caused a buzz in the archaeological community.
Its mast, rudders and rowing benches are all in tact, and have been scanned by two submersible robotic explorers which are mapping out a 3-D image of the vessel.
The Black Sea is a graveyard of ancient ships, this latest discovery is considered to be of historic importance, and a complete survey is being conducted by the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project.
What makes this discovery special is its incredible state of preservation, which classifies the site among the rare cases of shipwrecks in Europe.
Marine archaeologists say the discovery will change their understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world. They have gathered samples from the hull to determine its age by carbon-dating at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom.
The mystery of how or why the merchant ship foundered will never be known, but she probably sank after waves and sea spray filled the bilge.