Expedition and Education Foundation/Black Sea MAP
We are proud to share a unexpected side of the Black Sea. Thanks to The New York Times we found out that in the deep waters are laying down ancient Shipwrecks. “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.
“The medieval ship lay more than a half-mile down at the bottom of the Black Sea, its masts, timbers and planking undisturbed in the darkness for seven or eight centuries. Lack of oxygen in the icy depths had ruled out the usual riot of creatures that feast on sunken wood.”
“They’re astonishingly preserved,”
said Jon Adams, the leader of the Black Sea project and founding director of the maritime archaeology center at the University of Southampton.”
“It’s a great story,” said Shelley Wachsmann of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University. “We can expect some real contributions to our understanding of ancient trade routes.”
Goods traded on the Black Sea included grains, furs, horses, oils, cloth, wine and people. The Tatars turned Christians into slaves who were shipped to places like Cairo. For Europeans, the sea provided access to a northern branch of the Silk Road and imports of silk, satin, musk, perfumes, spices and jewels.
Marco Polo reportedly visited the Black Sea, and Italian merchant colonies dotted its shores. The profits were so enormous that, in the 13th and 14th centuries, Venice and Genoa fought a series of wars for control of the trade routes, including those of the Black Sea.”
We quoted just few thoughts shared in the NYTimes’ article. You can read the whole story here.