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Black Sea Wreck, study and comparisons. A team of researchers have accidentally discovered the remains of dozens of ships, ranging from the ninth to the nineteenth century, in an extraordinary state of preservation due to the special composition of the basin waters. An international team of scientists has made a breakthrough discovery on the seabed of the Black Sea: 41 well-preserved wrecks covering a period of over a thousand years of history, from the ninth to the nineteenth century (in the picture, an Ottoman-era wreck lying 300 meters of depth). The team was actually engaged in a search of a different kind, namely on the response of our prehistoric ancestors to rising seas. Scholars fact are mapping the seabed with sonar and remote-controlled vehicles (ROVs) to study a certain period of about 12,000 years ago, when the Black Sea was much larger; a situation that, in the end, has contributed to the preservation of the wrecks. When about 12,000 years ago ended the last Ice Age, the Black Sea was actually a lake.

Black Sea Wreck, study and comparisons.

With increasing temperature and the rise in sea level, the salt water of the Mediterranean began to pour into the basin by a rock formation in Bosporus Strait.  Suddenly the Black Sea found himself to be replenished either from fresh water of rivers or marine applications; this gave rise to two water layers: an upper layer rich in oxygen and with less salt, and a lower one salty and free of oxygen. The oxygen disappears from 150 meters deep down, which is ideal for the preservation of organic materials. Wood and strings typically are the first materials and deterioration in seawater. But the unusual chemical composition of the Black Sea has dramatically slowed the process of disintegration. Many wrecks found by Adams and his team are at depths greater than 150 meters, some even at 2,200 meters (pictured, a medieval wreck found in the Black Sea in the photo model grammarian rebuilt thanks to 4,000 high-resolution images). The wrecks of some wood is so well preserved that the individual boards are still visible signs of the tools and chisels used to work them. Cordage, anchors, rudders and even decorative elements in carved wood have survived for centuries intact. In the picture, the photogrammetric model of a Byzantine ship shows the passage of the ROV Surveyor. Nobody’ve never seen anything like it. Although historical texts and illustrations provide a lot of information on the appearance and the methods of construction of merchant ships through the ages, the exceptional state of preservation of the wrecks allows archaeologists to check the historical record. The oldest of the 41 wrecks seems to date back to the ninth century, when the Byzantine Empire controlled much of the region. There are also various Ottoman ships dating from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, some nineteenth-century ships, and Italian medieval boat that probably dates back to the fourteenth century. We know that the Italians had a strong presence on the medieval trade routes in the Black Sea, but see a ship on which it could be climbed Marco Polo really leaves you breathless. Archaeologists were able to date the wreckage and determine the origin by analyzing the style of pottery in the load, the type of anchor and the organization of trees and ropes (in the image, an Ottoman wreck in which they can still see the bar carved stern, rudder and ropes). 

Black Sea Wreck, study and comparisons.

Most of the wrecks were merchant ships transporting wine, grain, metal, timber and other goods. But some may be, rowing ships raiding Cossacks. But however fascinating is the idea of piracy, ships seem to have sunk due to storms, not in battle or at the hands of buccaneers. The team of British researchers, Americans and Bulgarians, patrolled these waters aboard the Stril Explorer, a research ship equipped with highly sophisticated submarine detection tools. After identifying the anomalies on the seabed sonar, scientists have used two ROV, each the size of a pickup truck and 7-8 million dollars to take pictures, shoot video and make the wrecks laser measurements. Thanks to a 3D photogrammetry program, thousands of images taken from different angles are combined to obtain a digital model that can be studied and manipulated.  The 41 wrecks are scattered over an area of about 2,000 square kilometers. The sediment cores extracted from the bottom of the order will provide answers to the primary purpose of research or understand how prehistoric humans reacted to environmental changes caused by rising seas. It will take about a year to analyze them, and the results will tell you exactly when and how long the Black Sea level soared.

Black Sea Wreck, study and comparisons.

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Black Sea Wreck, study and comparisons.