12:01 Oct. 25, 2016
The shipwrecks from the Ottoman and Byzantine periods are 'astonishingly well preserved'
In the depths of the Black Sea, where there is no light and no oxygen, archaeologists have found a perfectly preserved graveyard of shipwrecks, Daily Mail reports.
More than 40 ancient shipwrecks from the Ottoman and Byzantine periods were uncovered accidentally during a mapping expedition.
The expedition has been scouring the waters 1,800 metres below the surface of the Black Sea using an off-shore vessel equipped with some of the most advanced underwater equipment in the world.
The aim was to map submerged ancient landscapes which were inundated with water following the last Ice Age, but the wrecks came as "a complete bonus and a fascinating discovery," found during the course of extensive geophysical surveys.
The project has been scanning the bottom of the Black Sea, and has so far covered 1,250 kilometres (776 miles) - Daily Mail
Among the wrecks are vessels from the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires, which provide new information on the communities on the Black Sea coast.
Many of the colonial and commercial activities of ancient Greece and Rome, and of the Byzantine Empire, centred on the Black Sea.
"They are astonishingly preserved due to the anoxic conditions (absence of oxygen) of the Black Sea below 150 metres," said Professor Jon Adams, principle investigator on the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project
"Using the latest 3D recording technique for underwater structures, we've been able to capture some astonishing images without disturbing the sea bed."