Underwater Archaeologists from Bulgaria, UK, USA, Sweden, Greece Launch ‘Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project’
Ivan Dikov, Archaeology in Bulgaria, 15-09-2015
A landmark maritime archaeological study of the Black Sea, The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (Black Sea M.A.P.), has been launched by in the Bulgarian exclusive economic zone by several underwater archaeology institutions from Bulgaria, the UK, the USA, Sweden, and Greece. The three year project, which is funded by the Expedition and Education Foundation (EEF), also sees the first collaboration between the Center for Maritime Archaeology, University of Southampton, the UK; and the Center for Underwater Archaeology in Sozopol, Bulgaria; assisted by the Bulgarian Institute and Museum of Archaeology in Sofia; the University of Connecticut, USA; the Maritime Archaeological Research Institute, Södertörn (MARIS), Södertörn University, Sweden; and the Hellenic Center for Marine Research, Greece.
The start of Black Sea M.A.P has been formally announced to the media by its organizers shortly after the Greek research vessel Aegaeo arrived for the start of the expedition in Bulgaria’s Port Varna. The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (Black Sea M.A.P) is one of the largest interdisciplinary maritime archaeology projects ever attempted, the organizers have pointed out in a media release.
They note that the project is the first major exploration of the Black Sea and the first time that Bulgarian waters have been investigated on this scale, with the aim of mapping the submerged cultural heritage of Bulgaria, and contributing to the building of the prehistoric and historic environmental record of human activity in this region. The organizers remind that the Black Sea is considered to be one of the world’s finest underwater laboratories due to the anoxic layer which preserves artifacts better than any other marine environment. The region in general is pivotal to the story of human development and global dispersal from the Lower Palaeolithic onwards.
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