What began in 2015 as an environmental research project has resulted in an amazing, ancillary discovery of some 60 ancient shipwrecks, including some types of vessels that have never been seen except in murals and paintings.
According to a press release, the team set out to use remote operated vehicles’ laser scanners to map the floor of the Black Sea off Bulgaria to learn more about the changing environment of the region and fluctuations in sea level since the last glacier cycle.
Last year, they found 44 ancient vessels during their survey representing 2,500 years of history. “The wrecks are a complete bonus, but a fascinating discovery, found during the course of our extensive geophysical surveys,” Jon Adams, principle investigator and director of the University of Southampton’s Centre for Maritime Archaeology, said at the time.
This is now one of the finest underwater museums of ships and seafaring in the world.
The Black Sea MAP project was conceived by Hans K Rausing who established the Expedition and Education Foundation to commission the project. The Foundation’s work is funded by The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, a charitable fund, reflecting their interest in improving our understanding of the origins of humanity and human civilization in the region.