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Exploration and more extraordinary treasures from the Antikythera wreck

The researchers conducted the second phase of the project on the Antikythera wreck, which has provided many remarkable discoveries over 122 years. Researchers conducted the second phase of a five-year archaeological project on the Antikythera wreck between May 23 and June 15, 2022. Spread over five years, the activities continue the study of the legendary
Published: December 30, 2022 - 09:00
Updated: July 23, 2023 - 01:39
Exploration and more extraordinary treasures from the Antikythera wreck

The researchers conducted the second phase of the project on the Antikythera wreck, which has provided many remarkable discoveries over 122 years.

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Researchers conducted the second phase of a five-year archaeological project on the Antikythera wreck between May 23 and June 15, 2022. Spread over five years, the activities continue the study of the legendary wreck, which was discovered in 1900 by local sponge fishermen.

The main goal of the program is to try to gain a better knowledge and understanding of the ship, its route, cargo and conditions on the wreck. The research is being conducted by the Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece. The entire project is headed by Dr. Angelika G. Simosi head of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Euboea and Lorenzo Baumer, professor of classical archaeology at the University of Geneva.

Underwater archaeologist working on Antikythera wreck

Heracles of Antikythera

During this year’s field survey, the main objective was to move some of the large boulders that partially covered the wreck area. This was quite a challenge, as their weight oscillated around 8.5 tons each. The effort was worth it, however, as removing them allowed us to reach parts of the wreck that had never been explored before.

As a result, archaeologists discovered a number of artifacts, which they picked up from the bottom and submitted for further study. Among them was the pedestal of a marble statue, including the lower parts of the legs covered with a thick layer of marine sediment. Soon specialists will complete the first stages of the object’s restoration work, which will surely reveal more details for further analysis.

Artifact discovered on wreck in 2022

The divers also discovered the head of a marble statue, which depicted a bearded figure. Based on the find, the researchers determined that the entire statue must have been larger than life-size. Naturally, researchers quickly associated the new discovery with the headless statue of the statue of the so-called Heracles of Antikythera, which had been discovered more than 120 years earlier. So it’s possible that in the near future the missing piece will join the torso, which is in the National Archaeological Museum.

Another interesting find, which can provide a lot of interesting information, are two human teeth. Researchers discovered them in a solid agglomerate of marine sediments along with fragments of copper, wood and other materials typical of a marine disaster. Genetic and isotopic analysis of the teeth may help answer questions about the origin of the individuals to whom they belonged.

Dive remove sediment from the bottom

In addition, divers have found and brought to the surface many items from the ship’s equipment. Among them are bronze and iron nails, the lead collar of a sizable wooden anchor, and amorphous masses of iron concretions covered by marine sediments. X-ray examinations and additional tests in the laboratory will help scientists learn more about them.

Documentation of the wreck

All the objects that archaeologists have found have been described and documented in detail, including their precise position on the bottom. The new documentation that the researchers created will be added to the already existing study. In turn, all the collected photographic material will help create a 3D model of the wreck and the site. It will certainly be very useful for further investigation of the site, as the depth of more than 60 meters limits the time archaeologists can spend on the wreck. Scientists have also taken a number of samples to help them determine the exact dimensions of the wreck.

Photo: Press materials

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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