Black Sea Map project
Havila Subsea starts this month working on the exiting Maritime Archaeological Project “Black Sea Map”.
One year ago, the same project generated fabulous pictures from Stril Explorer. The offshore survey work is performed by the Surveyor Interceptor with experienced personnel from MMT Sweden and Reach Subsea. Reach Subsea is proud to be part of this voyage.
Today’s press release from EEF Expeditions Limited:
EEF Expeditions Limited launches its third and final cruise as part of the groundbreaking Black Sea MAP project.
Since 2015 Black Sea MAP, one of the largest maritime archaeological projects ever staged,
has been investigating the changes in the ancient environment of the Black Sea region
including the impact of sea level change during the last glacial cycle.
Isolated from the world’s oceans, as global sea levels fell during the glacial maximum, the
Black Sea was then reconnected as the earth warmed and sea levels rose.
How low did the Black Sea waters really fall? How fast did they rise following the
reconnection and what effects did these processes have on human settlements along the
shoreline at that time.
On 25th August 2017 the team of world renowned marine and maritime scientists will be
setting sail from the Bulgarian port of Burgas for the final phase of the project aboard the
R/V Havila Subsea, one of Havila Shipping ASA’s fleet, with MMT/Reach providing specialist
marine surveying capability and world record breaking technology being used to investigate
the depths of the Black Sea.
The Black Sea MAP team is under the leadership of the University of Southampton and
Professor Jon Adams, Professor Lyudmil Vagalinsky of the National Institute of Archaeology
with Museum of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Dr. Kalin Dimitrov of the Center of
Underwater Archaeology in Sozopol, Bulgaria.
Working in partnership, the team from the UK, Bulgaria, the University of Connecticut in the
US, Sweden, Norway, Greece and Ukraine has collected unprecedented amounts of data
using cutting edge technology, allowing it to significantly further the understanding of this
crucial part of the world in the development of humankind.
This third cruise will allow the team to further their conclusions from previous findings and
draw together their deductions which will be revealed in 2018.
Also onboard will be a group of young people taking part in the education element of Black
Sea MAP, which is designed to promote STEM subjects and careers to students who might
not be aware of the opportunities they provide. Run by Catalyst Learning and Education, the
programme integrates with the science team and the crew of Havila Subsea, as well as the
teams operating the Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV).
As a crucial part of the project, EEFE has commissioned Black Sea Films to make a film about
the journey and endeavours of the team, allowing the opportunity to engage with a wide
audience the excitement and discoveries of this unique project. Key to their work is the use
of a specialist remote deep-water camera system, capable of supplying ultra-high definition
imagery from more than 2 kilometres depth.
Following 25 days at sea, the Havila Subsea will be returning to port in Burgas where the
Board of Directors of EEFE Limited and the members of the science team will be hosting an
Open Day on September 19th 2017 to discuss their findings from their last season in the
The Black Sea MAP project was conceived by Hans K Rausing who established the Expedition
and Education Foundation to commission the project. The Foundation’s work is funded by
The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, a charitable fund, reflecting their interest in improving our
understanding of the origins of humanity and human civilization.
Ahead of the cruise, Professor Jon Adams, Black Sea MAP’s principal investigator said:
“This phase of the project will complete our data acquisition using state-of-the-art systems
undreamt of only a few years ago. Unprecedented in quality as well as quantity, these data
open a window of unparalleled clarity on the ancient past, helping us to better understand
the changing environment of the Black Sea and the peoples who lived there in prehistory and
later historical periods.”
Dr Kalin Dimitrov, Director of the Centre of Underwater Archaeology in Sozopol commented:
‘The Black Sea MAP project is of utmost importance not only for the Black Sea region. Data
on the dynamics of the Black Sea level is a key to understanding the process of settling of
Europe by the first farmers over 10,000 years ago. Where did these people come from? What
route have they gone through? Is Europe a continent of migrants or we can look for our roots
here long before the Ice Age?”
For further information please contact:
Alex Rayner on UK and Worldwide Media
+44 (0)7789 007 232
Vesselin Dimitrov for Bulgarian Media
About The Black Sea MAP (Maritime Archaeological Project)
The Black Sea MAP (Maritime Archaeological Project) seeks further understanding of the
origins of the Black Sea boundaries and how sea level change impacted early man. The three
strands of the projects are the scientific exploration, promoting STEM subjects and careers,
and filming a documentary about the expedition to reach as wide an audience as possible.
The scientific element of the project is led by some of the world’s preeminent marine
archaeologists and maritime scientists from the UK, Bulgaria, Sweden, the US and Greece.
Using a combination of marine-geophysics, sediment core sampling, and underwater
exploration by manned and unmanned vessels, the expedition hopes to uncover the speed
at which the sea level in the Black Sea rose at the end of the last glacial maximum.
The expedition’s STEM Scholar programme recruited 16 less advantaged students in 2016
and 2017 from schools in the UK to take part in educational programmes both on and
The expedition is being filmed by the award winning documentary team of Black Sea Films.
Copyright (photos): Black Sea MAP