Tim De Chant - Nova Next
Archaeological divers excavating the Antikythera shipwreck have unearthed even more priceless artifacts, including fragments of statues and a mysterious bronze disc.
The site is among the richest underwater discoveries and dates back to the early days of the Roman Empire. Discovered more than a century ago, the 2,000-year-old wreck was once a cargo ship laden with art, pottery, and an ancient computer—known as the Antikythera mechanism—capable of tracking the movements of heavenly bodies with incredible precision.
On the latest dive to the site, which took place September 4–20, archaeologists found fragments of marble and bronze statues among the treasures.
Here’s Nicholas St. Fleur, reporting for the New York Times:
They said the haul hints at the existence of at least seven more bronze sculptures still buried beneath the seafloor. Bronze sculptures from that era are rare because they were often melted down to make swords, shields and other items. Only about 50 intact examples have survived, so if the team can salvage the submerged statues, it would be a remarkable recovery of ancient artifacts.
Divers first discovered the wreck in the early 1900s. At the time, they hauled up six right arms.
The seventh remained undiscovered until last month, buried a foot and a half beneath the seafloor. The team was only able to find it by using a specially designed metal detector that can peer through more than six feet of rock and sediment.