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This poster reports on the August 2007 Black Sea Expedition of the Institute for Archaeological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island (IAO) and the Institute for Exploration (IFE), in collaboration with the Department of the Underwater Heritage of Ukraine. This year’s work marks a new phase in a multi-year (2000–2012) archaeological and oceanographic survey of the Black Sea. 2007 fieldwork focuses on two Byzantine shipwrecks. The 10th century C.E. shipwreck Chersonesos A (discovered in 2006) lies at 140 m depth in the suboxic zone off the Crimean peninsula. The ship carried a cargo of one-handled jars of a widely distributed but sparsely documented local type. The sixth century C.E. shipwreck Sinop D (discovered in 2000) lies at 325 m depth off Sinop, Turkey, in the anoxic zone, and also carried a locally-made amphora type. Sinop D is the best-preserved ancient ship yet discovered in the deep sea, and non-intrusive examination of the hull yields unique information about ancient ship construction and local patterns of technological exchange. Our initial studies focus on environmental characterization and the deepwater implementation of long-term site monitoring, decay rate testing, and sediment analyses, to develop management plans for each shipwreck. Cross-site comparisons address deepwater preservation under differing levels of oxygen depletion. We conclude with an assessment of our ability to record, excavate, monitor, and conserve deepwater sites as underwater museums using remote operated vehicle (ROV) deployed technology.


Bridget Buxton is from the Department of History. Robert Ballard, Dwight Coleman and Christopher Roman are from the Graduate School of Oceanography.