Byzantine shipwreck discovered off the coast of Crimea
Divers have discovered a Byzantine trade ship on the Black Sea bed off the coast of Crimea. There are hundreds of ceramic amphoras (vessels for storage and transportation of liquids) around the shipwreck. It is presumed that the amphoras were used to transport wine and oil. The ship is about 125 meters (410 feet) long.
The shipwreck was discovered by members of the divers club Rostov-dive at a depth of 82 meters (269 feet), near the Crimean city of Sevastopol. An expedition comprised of naval rescue team members and underwater archaeologists will begin working in the area on June 10. The research team will likely study the ship for a period two years.
At the moment, the navy, scientists, members of the club Rostov-dive and archeologists are preparing for deep-sea work. During the first stages of the expedition, the zone containing underwater objects must be delineated, and photos, videos, and 3-D models of the objects must be gathered. Only then can the careful excavation of artifacts begin.
Experts say that this ship is a unique discovery in the history of black sea archeology. In 2009, an underwater expedition headed by the Archeology Institute of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences found a Byzantine military ship off the coast of Crimea near the city of Foros. In 2006, a trade ship was found in the same area.
Most of the Crimean peninsula had been under Byzantine control from the 6th century BC until the late 7th century AD (the southern shores were controlled by Byzantine emperors until the 13th century). Present-day Sevastopol was a major Byzantine trading port. There are many archaeological excavation sites across the peninsula.