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Ancient Cossack vessel raised from bottom of Dnipro at Khortytsia

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Nov. 22, 2010, 12:21 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
Zaporizhia, November 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Marine archeologists of the Khortytsia National Reserve in Zaporizhia have raised an ancient Cossack warship, a Cossack oak vessel, which had been lying beneath the waters of the reserve for some three centuries. Director of the Pivdenhidroarkheolohia State Enterprise Valeriy Nefedov told Interfax-Ukraine that the 18-meter long Cossack "oak"-type vessel is a "veteran" of the Russian-Turkish war of 1735-1739.

"The ancient vessel was discovered in waters near Khortytsia Island in 1999. But it was impossible to lift it due to the lack of assets. Over this time the unique archeological find, which remained lying at a depth of six meters in the waters of the Khortytsia beach zone, started decaying and needed to be urgently lift from the bottom and preserved," he said.

Some 80% of the ancient warship was preserved for three centuries due to sand and mud covering it on the bottom of the Dnipro River.

Nefedov also said that "the Zaporizhia oak" was lifted for the first time in Ukraine and "any museum of the world could only dream of such an exhibit."

"The Cossack "oak" vessel was constructed in the 18th century in keeping with the best traditions of Zaporizhia Cossacks' shipbuilding. Despite its hull being made of oak, it is light and maneuverable, and is thought to be a prototype of modern warships. Using "oaks" the Cossacks successfully countered the Ottoman navy in the Black Sea," he said.

Nefedov also noted that after preservation, the Cossack vessel would be passed to the Museum of Ancient Navigation at Khortytsia Island, which already exhibits several ancient Cossack ships found in the last ten years in the water area of the Cossack shipyard at Khortytsia.
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