Excavations at the Antikythera ancient shipwreck site continue to yield amazing discoveries of Greek artifacts dating back to as much as 200 BC, according to new studies.
The Antikythera shipwreck is to date the most ancient and fascinating underwater site of its kind. It has provided marine archaeologists and scientists worldwide with a treasure trove of discoveries so far, all indicative of technological realities of the time, as well as a deeper insight on the life of what it believed to have been the upper social class.
As the expedition to the Antikythera ancient shipwreck site is a fruitful collaboration between international organizations and institutions, marine archaeologists and project co-director, Doctor Brendan Foley of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution stated:
“This shipwreck is far from exhausted. Every single dive on it delivers fabulous finds and reveals how the 1 percent lived in the time of Caesar”.
One of the major discoveries on the Antikythera ancient shipwreck site has brought to light the Antikythera mechanism, a complex device that, inspired by Babylonian arithmetical systems, was an invaluable tool for ancient Greeks in accurately predicting both the position of planets and lunar and solar eclipses. At the time of the finding of this ancient mechanism, it was dated back to 65 BC. Now, newer studies confirm that the Antikythera mechanism dates back in fact to 205 BC.
And while this treasure has held the headlines, others have been dug up from the sediment blanket in several expeditions beginning in 2014. The latest underwater expedition on the Antikythera ancient shipwreck site has taken place between August 26th and September 16th.
Over 50 items of great historical value have been recovered from the Antikythera shipwreck site. A bronze armrest is believed to have been part of a bronze throne that was carried on the ship.
Parts of the ship and technical components are building the picture of how the ship could have looked like at the time it sank. And the luxurious ceramics, the finely-worked glassware and perfume bottles, the pawns and glass marbles of ancient board games allow a peek in the life of the elite of the time.
Last year’s expedition not only unraveled a trove of artifacts, but led to the creation of a high-resolution 3D map of the Antikythera ancient shipwreck site. This map still drives the marine archaeologists to return to the site as it is expected that much is still buried under the sediment.
The Antikythera shipwreck was first discovered by Greek sponge fishermen back in 1990. Tucked in the underwater sediments off the Aegean island of Antikythera, the shipwreck remains a fascinating site for scientists worldwide, emboldened by the promising perspectives it still holds.
The 2015 expedition isn’t the last. A new multi-year framework is setting things in motion for as many artifacts to be recovered and the ship’s history to be written.
Photo Credits: archaeology.org