Parts of bronze statues found at the Antikythera shipwreck

Underwater archaeologists uncovered fragments of bronze statues, matching part of the original mechanism, and a section of the wooden hull revisiting the famous 1st-century BC shipwreck near Antikythera island off southern Greece discovered more than a century ago.

Recovery of artefacts from the shipwreck (by Brett Seymour)

Greek Culture Ministry announced that divers raised a complete arm and a section of pleated clothing from statues, and compacted metal objects that have yet to be cleaned and separated. The buried arm with a bespoke underwater metal detector. Broken bronze and marble statues that were also located during last month’s expedition would be investigated during a future excavation. They are located under large boulders that covered them, probably following an earthquake, possibly in the 4th century AD. Archaeologists state that there should be at least seven statues, potentially nine.

Arm recovered from the shipwreck (by Brett Seymour)

The bronze arm, probably from a statue of a male, was announced the highlight of the team’s 2017 excavation season. Among other objects the divers recovered are a patterned slab of red marble the size of a tea tray, a silver tankard, sections of joined wood from the ship’s frame, and a human bone.

Bronze disc matching the size of the original mechanism (by Brett Seymour)

Around Easter 1900, Captain Dimitrios Kondos and his crew of sponge divers from Symi sailed through the Aegean en route to fishing grounds off North Africa. They stopped at the Greek island of Antikythera to wait for favourable winds. During the layover, they began diving off the island’s coast, discovering the Roman-era shipwreck dating from the 2nd quarter of the 1st century BC. It yielded numerous statues, coins and other artefacts dating back to the 4th century BC, as well as the severely corroded remnants of a device many regard as the world’s oldest known analog computer, the Antikythera mechanism, now on display at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.

(after Brett Seymour, The Guardian & Tornos News)

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