The Black Sea is the body of water that separates Europe and Asia. Occupying about 168,500 square miles, the Black Sea has played a vital role in regional commerce and has remained an important waterway since ancient times.
A great many ancient ports line the Black Sea. The eastern end of this body of water, now modern Georgia, represented the edge of the known world during the age of the Greeks. The oldest samples of processed gold have been found in the Black Sea port of Varna in Bulgaria. During World War I, the Black Sea played a significant role in naval actions, with both land and sea battles taking place in the region during World War II.