Ship Wreck from the Golden Age of Athens
Dr. Robert D. Ballard, famous for his role in finding the Titanic, heading a team of American and Bulgarian scientists has discovered an amphora laden Greek ship wreck dating from the 4th century BC. The vessel, found of the coast of modern Bulgaria, is 275 feet below water and is the oldest ever found in the Black Sea. The team spotted the wreck on the last day of the National Geographic Society sponsored expedition on August 1st 2002.
An amphora recovered by the team from the ships cargo is almost three feet or one meter tall and 1.5 or half a meter in width, with the capacity to hold 27 gallons or 208 liters.
Frederik Hiebert of the University of Pennsylvania who is working in conjunction with Ballard believes that for the fields of archaeology and ancient history the discovery of the ship ' is very exciting' and questions the view of the black sea as a central region of maritime culture as opposed to a a peripheral one. It was believed to be traveling en route from Sinop in Turkey to Bulgaria. This particular amphora held a six foot long freshwater catfish, a common fish popular in ancient Greece and unavailable in the Aegean. Ballard commented that 'The Greeks went into the Black Sea for fish and gold' due to the Aegean's lack of seafood. Upon return to Greece the amphora contents would have been changed to olive oil and wine and exported once again to the Black Sea.
It has only been with in the last 20 years with the loosening of the Iron Curtain that underwater excavations in this region have been able to fully take place.
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