Residents in Turkey's Amasra district in the northern province of Bartın were surprised to find the beach along the coast littered with artefacts that were washed up from the Black Sea during a recent storm. The objects looked to be part of pillars and other building material typical of the Roman era.
According to Hurriyet Daily News, locals found the ruins lying among the rocks on the beach and contacted the Amasra Museum Directorate.
Amasra Museum Director Baran Aydın opined that the artefacts did look to be of historic value and contained designs featuring Roman-era figures. He said that the pieces may have been unearthed by a construction company which possibly dumped them in the sea along with other debris.
Newsweek reported that after a preliminary examination, it was confirmed that the ruins dated back to 90 BC to a time when the Anatolia region was part of the Roman Empire before being taken over by Byzantine and later Islamic rulers.
While the recently discovered artefacts may have been disposed of in the water, the Black Sea continues to hold a special interest to archaeologists thanks to its well preserved shipwrecks. The anoxic waters — lacking oxygen — prevent natural ruin of sunken ships and their treasures.
The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (MAP) has uncovered around 60 shipwrecks off the Bulgarian coast of the Black Sea since beginning work in 2016. These vessels have been traced to Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman times, with the oldest dating back to the 5th century BC.
"During the third season of the Black Sea MAP we continued filling in the blanks of the mosaic of ancient seafaring with the discovery and documentation of outstandingly well preserved ships," said Dr. Kalin Dimitrov, director of the Center of Underwater Archaeology in Sozopol.
"The vessels represent the Roman and Byzantine periods, and the time of ancient Greek colonization. The discovered shipwrecks will undoubtedly rewrite the history of ancient shipbuilding."