The head of the Hellenic Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities Dr. Angeliki Simosi announced the second phase of the underwater excavation of the 1st century B.C. Antikythera shipwreck which will commence tomorrow, Thursday 1st of September.
“The machines are being set up at this moment,” Simosi said, while the ‘Return to Antikythera’ official website announced that members of the expedition are arriving on the island from various parts of the world to continue the search. The first phase of the excavation by the Greek Underwater Antiquities Ephorate and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the U.S. was conducted from May 22 until June 11, recovering a number of new finds.
These included a second bronze spear, pieces of marble statues that included an entire left hand, the bronze-encased leg of a piece of wooden furniture, glass vases and bowls, some made of millefiori blown glass, amphorae, cups, jugs and a gold ring. Archaeologists have additionally discovered elements of the ship itself, such as nails of various sizes, resin, lead sheeting, lead pipes and a lead weight of about 100 kilos, among other finds.
There is also convincing evidence that there is a second shipwreck on the site, including lead piping of a different diameter from the first, nails, tiles, amphorae and other vessels of a different type.
The expedition is taking place under the aegis of President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos with the participation of archaeologists from Greece and abroad.
First discovered by sponge divers in 1900, the shipwreck is chiefly famous for the discovery of the unique Antikythera Mechanism now on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, which has been described as an ancient ‘analog’ computer. More information about the expeditions, the shipwreck and the Antikythera Mechanism is available on the ‘Return to Antikythera’ official website http://antikythera.whoi.edu