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Experts accidentally discover 40 shipwrecks – massive insight into the history of the Black Sea


Site Mgr
Sr Site Supporter
Mar 28, 2010
Planet Earth
Experts accidentally discover 40 shipwrecks – massive insight into the history of the Black Sea

Shipwreck of the SS American Star on the shore of Fuerteventura. Credit: Wollex

The Expedition and Education Foundation (EEF) recently gave out a charitable donation that brought to life the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project, also known as Black Sea MAP.

Historians couldn’t be more thankful. The researchers, including a group from the Maritime Archaeology Center at the University of Southampton, have been making splashes in the news while surveying Bulgarian waters in the Black Sea.

This area was actually land during the Ice Age, but when the ice around the world began to melt, the land was flooded and ultimately became a part of the sea.

The principle investigator of the Black Sea MAP, Jon Adams, stated that the goal of the team was to put to rest the heavily debated theories about when the land was submerged. The team is also looking at how quickly the water levels rose and how it affected the ancient population of the land.

EEF supplied funding so the team could survey and map the seabed. They investigated the characteristics of the floor and took core samples for dating and analysis.

The final results of the research will develop a palaeo-environmental reconstruction of the history of the Black Sea that has eluded historians to date.


To accomplish the mission, the experts used a ship named the Stril Explorer. The ship is equipped with some of the best surveying technology in the world. The vessel comes with two Remotely Operated Vehicles or ROVs. The first ROV is loaded with high-resolution 3D technology and supports video.

The second groundbreaking remote vehicle was designed by the survey companies Reach Subsea and MMT and can move at speeds that are four times faster than common ROVs and holds an incredible suite of geophysical instrumentation, flashlights, advanced cameras, and even a laser scanner.

During its missions for the project, the vehicle has broken records for the depth of an ROV (1,800 meters) and for sustained speed (an astounding six knots). The vehicle has also covered well over 1,000 kilometers during its mission.