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Nice Find in the Black Sea

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:15 pm
by Minimalist
Oldest intact shipwreck of a Greek merchant vessel.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45951132

At 2,000 meters down they are going to need a pretty good submersible to recover anything.

Re: Nice Find in the Black Sea

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:33 pm
by circumspice
Wow. It's in nearly pristine condition. I wonder if they'll find even older intact remains in the general area? Surely there is some prehistoric settlement or seasonal campsite out there somewhere, waiting to be found. I had previously read somewhere that there could be such sites located near what were once ancient shorelines when sea levels were much lower. It would offer the prospect of even better preservation than the bog sites that are so well preserved. I wish that they had posted more detailed photos of that shipwreck.

Re: Nice Find in the Black Sea

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:14 pm
by Cognito
I had previously read somewhere that there could be such sites located near what were once ancient shorelines when sea levels were much lower.
Excellent find and newer model ROVs should have enough dexterity now to look through the shipwreck without destroying it, even at a 2,000 meter depth.

What makes the Black Sea uniquely anoxic is the layer of salt water from the Mediterranean overlaying the freshwater input from northern rivers; they don't mix. See: https://www.ocean.washington.edu/people ... erview.pdf.

The Black Sea freshwater aerobic until the post-LGM rising Mediterranean topped the Bosporus sill circa 5,600bce (even allowing for some Caspian Sea salinity entering through the Manych Straits). Prior to the breach, settlements would have deteriorated in a normal manner unless covered rapidly in mud. However, if that occurred, they would be quite difficult to locate nearly 8,000 years later. :shock:

Re: Nice Find in the Black Sea

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:43 am
by circumspice
Thanks for the Pdf cogs!

Re: Nice Find in the Black Sea

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:54 am
by Simon21
Certainly an exciting find. Hopefully looters will be kept at bay, but this is a disputed area.

Wasn't there a legend in 1930's about the Black Sea in which divers reported columns of dead men marching on the sea floor. Investigation proved these were prisoners shot during the civil war and the water, polluted from a nearby poisons factory, had preserved the bodies who were swaying about on their weights.

Re: Nice Find in the Black Sea

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:06 pm
by kbs2244
I do not think those are photos.
They are sold models based on sonar returns.

They are looking for funds for more work.
That would mean actual deep water photos.

the 1930's story brings up a question:
Does that type of water allow flesh to decay?
Are there scavengers in the water that would eat any flesh?

Re: Nice Find in the Black Sea

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:51 pm
by circumspice
kbs2244 wrote:I do not think those are photos.
They are sold models based on sonar returns.

They are looking for funds for more work.
That would mean actual deep water photos.

the 1930's story brings up a question:
Does that type of water allow flesh to decay?
Are there scavengers in the water that would eat any flesh?
I doubt that there are any intact bodies to be found. Even if a body is pinned down or trapped in a closed space decomposition will probably still occur. We harbor millions of micro-organisms on & inside our bodies. I'm fairly sure that would help decay any remains that may be down there. Plus, there may also be micro-organisms that are endemic to the Black Sea that might feed off of any remains that have sunk down to that anoxic level. Who knows?

Re: Nice Find in the Black Sea

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:58 am
by Simon21
kbs2244 wrote:I do not think those are photos.
They are sold models based on sonar returns.

They are looking for funds for more work.
That would mean actual deep water photos.

the 1930's story brings up a question:
Does that type of water allow flesh to decay?
Are there scavengers in the water that would eat any flesh?
As I recall, and I was told this by a relative who was shall we say interested in things Russian (he joined the International Brigade) there was an arsenic factory nearby, but do they have factories for arsenic?

Anyway the ship is a fascinating discovery provided they can keep hold of it.

Re: Nice Find in the Black Sea

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:16 pm
by Cognito
I doubt that there are any intact bodies to be found. Even if a body is pinned down or trapped in a closed space decomposition will probably still occur. We harbor millions of micro-organisms on & inside our bodies. I'm fairly sure that would help decay any remains that may be down there.
You are correct, the average human body is host to about 2 trillion microbes, many of them anaerobic. Anaerobes will feast on dead tissue so once a body is submerged it will still decompose unless it is dipped into an anti-microbial soup such as formaldehyde.

Fresh water won't do much to preserve a body, it will simply soften the bones and tissues until they decompose.

Re: Nice Find in the Black Sea

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:39 am
by Simon21
Cognito wrote:
I doubt that there are any intact bodies to be found. Even if a body is pinned down or trapped in a closed space decomposition will probably still occur. We harbor millions of micro-organisms on & inside our bodies. I'm fairly sure that would help decay any remains that may be down there.
You are correct, the average human body is host to about 2 trillion microbes, many of them anaerobic. Anaerobes will feast on dead tissue so once a body is submerged it will still decompose unless it is dipped into an anti-microbial soup such as formaldehyde.

Fresh water won't do much to preserve a body, it will simply soften the bones and tissues until they decompose.
But that cannot be entirely true - have n ot a large number of dinosaur fossils been found in areas that once lakes and streams?

Re: Nice Find in the Black Sea

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:43 am
by Cognito
But that cannot be entirely true - have not a large number of dinosaur fossils been found in areas that once lakes and streams?
No, not really. Fossils are a rare find and it takes many years with exactly the right conditions to fossiize a bone (i.e. mineralize it to rock). Human remains prior to the Holocene are even more rare since the bones are not as robust.