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How is the sea on which dozens of ancient shipwrecks rested, and that could explain the universal Flood

The island of Nessebar was an important center of river commerce during the Byzantine Empire Credit: Shutterstock

The old town of Nessebar is practically an independent island, consisting of less than a kilometer of fishermen's houses. Made of wood and topped with terracotta roofs, they sit on a rocky surface, joined to the Blgara coast by a narrow land bridge.

It is also a dense pile of ruins superimposed on top of each other dating back more than 3000 years ago, and is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

When walking through the old part, you can see the winding streets and fishermen's houses of the nineteenth century, broken by the medieval church of San Esteban – decorated with murals of Jesus Christ calming a storm and 1000 New Testament figures – and the excavated ruins of the basilica from Stara Mitropolia, a 5th-century cathedral, when this place was an important Byzantine commercial center on the Black Sea coast.

But local archaeologists and fishermen have found relics older than these. For example, a Greek and ceramic acropolis whose origin dates back to before the arrival of the Romans.

Also walls built by the founders of the city, the Thracians, the equestrian warriors who dominated the Balkan peninsula more than 2000 years ago.

But to find the most amazing artifacts you have to go off the island and dive into the seas that surround it.

The church of St. Pantokrator in Nessebar, BulgariaThe church of St. Pantokrator in Nessebar, Bulgaria Credit: Shutterstock

Greek ships intact

Recent oceanographic investigations, using a pair of remotely operated underwater vehicles, have entered the Black Sea waters and have revealed pieces of ancient history never seen with such a detailed resolution.

These underwater missions have discovered ancient ships of commerce and war, including the oldest and best preserved shipwrecked ship: a Greek commercial ship from around the year 400 lying almost intact on the seabed.

And among the remains, other new evidence is offering clues to something that happened more than 7,000 years ago, when some experts believe that the Black Sea was just a small freshwater lake.

The Black Sea aguar, at that depth, lacks oxygen, so there is no life in its bed, which preserved the wrecksThe Black Sea turkey, at that depth, lacks oxygen, so there is no life in its bed, which preserves shipwrecks

Geological samples drilled on the seabed could finally solve the mystery of whether it was here that the waters once penetrated, crushed civilizations and created the legend we know as the Ark of No and the biblical universal Flood.

Zdravka Georgieva, a Martian archaeologist from the Bulgarian Underwater Archeology Center, was born in Nessebar and learned to dive in the Black Sea reefs.

"I really wanted to know what is under the sea," says Georgieva, who first heard about the unexplored residues of ancient settlements and boats in the small Archaeological Museum of Nessebar, which houses a handful of historical artifacts.

"I knew through the museum and the people there, as a teenager, that there are historical monuments there below. And I wanted to touch them and observe them very closely."