Bulgaria’s Cabinet has authorised the research vessel Stril Explorer to enter the country’s waters to participate in the three-year Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project, which began in 2015.
The Stril Explorer will be used in oceanographic research in Bulgarian waters and visit the country’s Black Sea port city of Bourgas between August 25 and October 5 2016, the Bulgarian Cabinet’s media service said on August 3.
From the vessel, researchers will gather samples of sediments at the sea bottom, for geological analysis in the laboratory, to collect more detailed information about the changing environment, to monitor climate change and sea level changes, and the way in which these changes have influenced the cultural development of coastal communities, the statement said.
The research would be carried out using safe methods and would create no difficulties for Bulgaria in the exercise of its sovereign rights and jurisdiction, the Cabinet statement said.
According to the website Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project, the seabed is being investigated remotely through the use of sonar and deep sea diving ROVs (remotely operated vehicle) “potentially revealing intact shipwrecks and ancient settlements that tell us how human civilisation has evolved”.
“Never before have the Bulgarian waters of the Black Sea been investigated on this scale. Maritime archaeology and marine geophysics will work together recording, dating and understanding the submerged cultural heritage of Bulgaria, contributing to our knowledge of the prehistoric and historic environmental record of human activity in this region,” the project’s website said.