The shipwreck that was discovered more than one hundred year ago near the Antikythera Island in Greece holds treasures that were once the property of the socio-economic elite.
Amongst the latest discoveries on site of the the Antikythera shipwreck are a piece of board game and a chair arm made out of bronze, which may have been part of an ancient throne, experts say.
The ship that sunk in 65 B.C. can now be found near the Antikythera Island (researchers named the ship after the Greek island). Sponge fishermen were the first ones to discovered the shipwreck in 1900.
According to the Woods Hold Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), this year the archaeologists found a small table jug (alagynos), an amphora, a rectangular chiselled stone, a piece of bone flute, broken bits of glass, bronze, iron, and ceramics, a bone flute, and a chair arm, possibly the arm of a throne, when examining the shipwreck.
Brian Foley, a a marine archaeologist at the Woods Hold Oceanographic Institution, stated that: “This shipwreck is far from exhausted. Every single dive on it delivers fabulous finds, and reveals how the ‘1 percent’ lived in the time of Caesar.”
Ilias Stadiatis, a sponge diver, was the first to ever explore the Antikythera shipwreck in 1900. At that time he found a bronze arm that belonged to a statue, that was about 164 feet (50 meters) below the surface of water and brought it to the surface.
Soon after Stadiatis’ discovery, naval support was sent to the area by the Greek government. Divers managed to find thirty-six marble statues of gods and heroes from the Greek mythology, as well as skeleton remnants that belonged to the passengers and crew members, and some expensive items.
In 1901 some divers found an impressive astronomical calendar, which can be used to figure out the positions of Venus, Mercury, and Mars. The Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports said that the Antikythera mechanism (the calendar) was one of the most intricate ancient objects ever.
In 2015, the archaeologists spent about 40 hours exploring the shipwreck. They were also able to find some items that were made out of led such as: two anchor stocks, a salvage ring, nails, and hull sheathing.
Theotokis Theodoulou, a maritime archaeologist in the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, said that this year the archaeologists were very lucky to find so many new hidden treasures.
Researchers are now analysing the artefacts using DNA probes from ceramic jars. They hope to find out more about the lifestyle of the 1st century elite.
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