A photogrammetric image of the stern of a Ottoman-era ship showing coils of rope and a tiller with elaborate carvings. A lack of oxygen at the icy depths of the Black Sea left the wrecks relatively undisturbed.
Credit Expedition and Education Foundation/Black Sea MAP

The three-year expedition The Black Sea MAP project (Maritime Archaeology Project), which set out to chart the bottom of the Black Sea, made some astounding findings, among those 2500-year-old unique ships – perfectly preserved.

The marine archaeological project has been going on for three years and the expedition has searched 2,600 kilometers of coastline along Bulgaria. The oldest wreck found is believed to be from ancient Greek and Roman times. The conservation conditions down in the darkness of the low-oxygen environment preserve the ships in intact condition, the masts are still standing. Even storage vessels for wine, oil, and olives have been found aboard the ships.