World's oldest intact shipwreck discovered at bottom of Black Sea

The world's oldest intact shipwreck known to man has been discovered at the bottom of the Black Sea.

A team of maritime archaeologists and scientists carbon dated the Greek trading vessel to 400BC - making it around 2,400 years old.

The researchers have spent three years surveying a 2000 squeare kilometer area of the sea bed to study prehistoric sea level change - and in the process came across more than 60 shipwrecks.

Black Sea MAP is one of the largest maritime archaeological projects ever staged, and has been using specialist equipment to get ultra-high definition images of the seabed.

The ancient ship was found in over 2 kilometers of water which is anoxic - meaning oxygen free.

Due to the lack of oxygen organic material can be preserved for thousands of years.

A small piece of the vessel was taken to be carbon tested. Credit: Black Sea MAP/EEF Expeditions

A team of divers descended to the wreck and took a small piece of wood to be carbon dated.

Credit: Black Sea MAP/EEF Expeditions

Upon the find, Professor Jon Adams, Black Sea MAP’s principal investigator said: "A ship, surviving intact, from the Classical world, lying in over 2km of water, is something I would never have believed possible. This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world."