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What lurks beneath

So with summer, comes a lull in what I call "MUST SEE TV" as most programs I might divert myself with, especially due to the writer's strike, have long concluded. Which is usually when I turn to the science and history type of channels. I caught part of a National Geographic special, about under-water archaelogical expeditions in the Black Sea. What is utterly fascinating is that the Black Sea, unlike any other large body of water on earth, has an oxygen-deprived layer of water. This makes it poisonous to the critters of the sea one usually finds, which translates that the normal sort of decay and ravagement of plants and sea creatures just hasn't happened. Vessels shipwrecked more than 1000 years ago that sunk into this layer are remarkably preserved. The wood is still there, and preserved in such detail that you can see the grain of the wood, the tool marks made in the crafting of the ship's mast. In some cases rope is even still present. Oh look, there's the cargo of the ship, dust it off and it looks brand new!

They're just now beginning to explore this area. And what excites me, is that I know for a fact that Vikings traversed the Black Sea (Viking Migration patterns really are quite vast). I mean we've had bog discoveries, but just the thought that there are surely Viking-connected vessels waiting in the vast depths, potentially unharmed by decay after all these years, just makes the academic in me salivate.

So here's hoping that Ran might be kind and release some of Her secrets, restoring to us lost knowledge (and hopefully new religious iconography).


There's been a couple of shows in the last decade about the Black Sea and it's unique chemistry. I love them all. My fave was one with Ice-Age settlements along the original shoreline, showing that the melt happened fairly quickly because there were still baskets in the buildings...but not like a Tsunami because those light objects would have been washed away as well as crushed. One commentator said it was probably like what is happening now in CHina with the 3 Gorges Dam....water slowly creeping toward and up.
Actually, one of the abiding theories of the moment, is that the black sea, and to some extant portions of the Mediterrenean may in fact be home to the flood myth that abounds around the world in hundreds of different cultures, related to last Ice Age melt off.