Divers Find Pieces of Statues at the Antikythera Shipwreck
By: Jayden Dudek
Two months ago, researchers published their recent findings about a marble head, which took the shape of a Greek and Roman Hercules, and was discovered in the ship wreck near the Greek island of Antikythera.
The ship wreck is the remains of a Greek trading ship from the 1st Century B.C.E.
The first time that divers explored the boat was 1900. They discovered 36 statues, including figures like Hermes, Apollo, and Hercules. They also found rare bronze statues, which were mainly used to make coins and weapons. However, the most significant finding in that exploration was the Antikythera Mechanism. Known as the world's oldest computer, it predicted astronomy-like phenomenon, such as lunar eclipses. Unfortunately though, the quest came to a sudden stop because a diver died and two other divers were injured from decompression sickness.
In 1976, Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his group went to the shipwreck and claimed human remains and other items.
Nearly 40 years later, Return to Antikythera expedition was launched in 2012 to explore the ship wreck once again. This time, the divers found a head near the hull of the sunken ship.
Additionally, they uncovered two human teeth, a marble base of a different statue, and parts of the ship’s equipment.
Researchers believe that the marble head belongs to one of the statues found in 1900 expedition.
"In 1900, sponge divers pulled out the statue of Hercules, and now in all, we've found its head," explained lead researcher and archeologist Lorenz Baumer. "It's a most impressive marble piece. It is twice lifesize, has a big beard, a very particular face, and short hair. There is no doubt it is Hercules."
The newly discovered items will be on display at National Archaeological Museum in Athens.