Famous Shipwreck May Still Hold Priceless Treasures
The ship bound for Rome sunk in 1BC and was first discovered off the coast of Greece in 1900. And yet the Antikythera shipwreck is still providing new discoveries. The Guardian reports an expedition to the site last month turned up a silver tankard, a human bone, and much more. Perhaps most exciting: the arm of a bronze statue and evidence that the remains of at least seven bronze statues are still buried there. Previous bronze statues found at the Antikythera shipwreck were dated to the 4th century BC. Bronze statues from that time period are extremely rare, with only about 50 known in the world, according to Gizmodo. National Geographic reports that based on the positioning of the fingers, the newly discovered arm may belong to a statue modeled on a philosopher.
Recovering the rest of the statue—and the others at the site—won’t be easy. The Antikythera shipwreck is 180 feet underwater on a slope and has been buried by boulders from a succession of earthquakes starting in the 4th century AD. It will take a lot of time and money to move the boulders, recover the statues, and reconstruct them. Also discovered in last month’s expedition was a mysterious bronze disc that the dive team originally thought could be a missing component of the famous Antikythera Mechanism. The mechanism, often called an “ancient computer,” could predict eclipses and the movements of various heavenly bodies and was discovered at the site a decade ago. However, x-rays of the disc show it’s engraved with a bull and was likely a piece of decoration for a statue or the ship itself. The next expedition to the Antikythera shipwreck is scheduled for spring 2018.