Dept. of Wonder: The Oldest Intact Shipwreck in the World

A few weeks ago, I marveled that less than 10% of the archeological finds in the world had been explored. Two kilometers beneath the Black Sea, that fact is on gorgeous display this week with reports of the discovery of an intact Greek trading vessel from about 400 B.C., the oldest shipwreck ever found.

Rope, coiled by the crew on a day when it is possible that Socrates and Plato were still breathing in Athens, is still where it was left on the decks of the sunken vessel. There is so much detail left that this single wreck will transform our understanding of ancient shipbuilding.

As our world above sinks further into chaos, I’m going to take some solace in knowing that there are still wonders buried in the deep places of the earth.

Less than 10 percent

The amount of the earth’s surface that has been explored, according to “space archeologist” Sarah Parcak, who used satellite photos to discover the lost city of Tanis, familiar as the final resting place of the Ark in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. I also read somewhere that the number of archeological sites that have been excavated are likely less than 1% of what previous civilizations have left behind. So think of those stats the next time you worry that the world has no hidden wonders left.