Mer Noire (Bulgarie) : Mediterranean « round » ship discovered

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Pre columbian round shipThe world’s first ever well preserved sunken “round ship", a medieval Mediterranean ship which was a precursor to the Age of Discovery vessels such as the ones on which Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic, has been discovered inBulgaria’s Black Sea zone by a large-scale underwater archaeology project, the Black Sea M.A.P.

The sunken Western Mediterranean, possibly Venetian"ship (as it has been described) from the 13th-14h century is said to be a “discovery of global significance" because the round ship type (also known as “cog”) had been known from historical sources but a fully preserved one had never been seen since theLate Middle Ages – until its present discovery in Bulgaria’s Black Sea waters.

The other most intriguing sunken ships discovered by thearchaeologists from Black Sea M.A.P. are a Byzantine ship from the late 9th or early 10th century, and an Ottoman Turkish vesselfrom the 18th-19th century.

The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (Black Sea M.A.P.),which started in September 2015, is being carried out by the Center for Maritime Archaeology of the University of Southampton, the Sozopol-based Center for Underwater Archaeology at the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, and theNational Institute and Museum of Archaeology in Sofia.

The three year project, which is funded by theExpedition and Education Foundation(EEF), is also assisted by theUniversity of Connecticut, USA; the Maritime Archaeological Research Institute, Södertörn (MARIS), Södertörn University, Sweden; and the Hellenic Center for Marine Research, Greece.

The results from the second voyage of the project, which took place on September 1-26, 2016, in the zone betweenBulgaria’s Rezovo in the south and Cape Galata near Varna, have been presented publicly in Bulgaria’s Black Sea ofBurgas by Prof. Jon Adams from the University of Southampton and Assoc. Prof. Lyudmil Vagalinski, Assoc. Prof. Krum Bachvarov, and Assist. Prof. Kalin Dimitrov from Bulgaria’s National Institute and Museum of Archaeology inSofia.