Black Sea Treasure

Archaeologists have found more than 40 vessels in the Black Sea, some more than a millennium old, shedding light on early empires and trade routes.

00SHIPWRECKS4-superJumbo.jpgWJ. Broad reported in the NY Times, Nov 11th 2016, that one medieval ship lay more than a half-mile down at the bottom of the Black Sea, offshore Bulgaria. The masts, timbers and planking have been undisturbed for seven or eight centuries. Lack of oxygen in the icy depths had prevented bacteria and fungi attacking the wet wood.

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Last month a team of explorers lowered a robot on a long tether, lit up the wreck with bright lights and took thousands of high-resolution photos. A computer then merged the images into a detailed portrait.

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Archaeologists date the discovery to the 13th or 14th century when the ship probably served the Venetian empire, which had many Aegean and Black Sea outposts.

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Never before had this type of ship been found in such complete form. The breakthrough was the quarterdeck, from which the captain would have directed a crew of perhaps 20 sailors.

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