“Forty-one ships lie on the ground in an almost perfect state of preservation over an area of approximately 2,000 square kilometers. The oldest date back to the Byzantine Empire, eleven centuries ago, the most recent date from the Ottoman Empire. "

Source: Point

“An incredible discovery, made off the coast of Bulgaria in the middle of the Black Sea, of 40 ships dating from periods ranging from the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman Empire were found in an exceptional state of preservation. An important route in terms of trade, this discovery can be rich in lessons for researchers. Researchers expect to find some very interesting material for our understanding of how ancient trade routes worked. "

Source: RTBF

The activities in this guide will allow students to familiarize themselves with the Black Sea as well as the spectacular wrecks found in its waters.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:

- Explain how photogrammetric images are captured;
- Locate the Black Sea as well as the Bulgarian coasts on a world map;
- Discover the Ottoman Empire as well as other great empires in history;
- Understand what is a so-called anoxic water like that of the Black Sea;
- Describe the exceptional conditions of the wrecks found in the Black Sea.

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: Discovery of the century in the Black Sea

Start this activity by presenting the video Following which shows striking images of the wrecks discovered as well as the conditions in which they remained during all these years.

Continue this activity by doing a collective reading of the article accompanying the video in order to discover in more detail why this discovery is qualified as historic.
Question the students to check their collective understanding.

Here are some questions:

- In what condition are the wrecks that were found?
- How to explain that the Black Sea is an extraordinary freezer for wrecks?
- How did the researchers find the wrecks in Bulgarian waters?
- In what century did these ships sail the oceans?
- What will we probably find as goods in these merchant ships?
- Etc.

ACTIVITY 2: 41 wrecks found

Begin this activity by presenting the discovery in this infographics informative that can be explained in 5 minutes.

Have a student come and locate the black Sea on a world map. Have students observe the surrounding countries and borders and the water currents that supply this body of water.

Ask students to classify their new learning into different categories of their choice with the site Framemo. This virtual board works collaboratively and on all types of platforms.

In the following example, students are asked to classify the information in the infographic, among other things, into the following 4 categories:

- What is the discovery of the century? What?
- Why is this such an important discovery? Why?
- In what context were the wrecks found? How? 'Or' What?
- When was the discovery made or in what year were these ships used, etc.? When?

ACTIVITY 3: Empires in our history

Ask students if they know the names of the great powers having existed in history for centuries and centuries.

The wrecks found date from theOttoman Empire of the last century. Suggest that students learn more about different types of Empire that have existed in history.
Divide the students into small work teams so that each one becomes an expert on a particular Empire and direct their research on the article following.

Invite them to choose from the following 10 Empire choices:

The Mongol Empire (1206 to 1368)
The Russian Empire (1721-1917)
The Muslim Umayyad Caliphate (661-750)
Ottoman Empire (1299-1922)
Portuguese Colonial Empire (1450-1999)
Spanish Empire (1492-1975)
Achaemenid Empire (550 BC-330 BC)
Roman Empire (27 BC-476 CE)
Ancient Egypt (3100 BC-30 BC)
British Empire (1583-1997)

Then invite the students to make a summary of their findings in order to present them to the whole group. You could invite them to use the site ofAdobe spark which allows the search for free images in addition to being very intuitive to use by students.

For further

Make hypotheses about the objects that could potentially be found under the wrecks of merchant ships resting on the bottom of the Black Sea. Have students draw these objects to keep track of them to validate predictions when objects are found and brought to the surface. Follow the work of the project from the official site English speaker of the Maritime Archeology Project (MAP).

More about the magazine

Dozens of shipwrecks discovered at the bottom of the Black Sea
Futura Sciences, November 18, 2016

Wrecks by the dozen in the Black Sea
La Presse, October 24, 2016

Dozens of ancient wrecks found in the depths of the Black Sea
Le Figaro, October 28, 2016

More than 40 vessels discovered by chance at the bottom of the Black Sea
20 minutes, November 14, 2016