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With a robot among the remains of the shipwreck in Antikythera

11 October 2014 / 20:10:31  GRReporter
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The Minister of Culture and Sport, Konstantinos Tasoulas, met with the group of archaeologists from the research team of the shipwreck in Antikythera and congratulated them on the successful completion of this year's expedition.

The study of the Agency for underwater archaeological sites, supported by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, which lasted from 15 September to 7 October, was successfully completed despite difficulties because of the intense northerly winds in the area where the famous shipwreck of Antikythera happened. In 1900 sponge divers from the island of Symi found many marble and bronze statues and the famous Antikythera mechanism.

At the time tof he study an exact topographic surveying of the site of the shipwreck was carried out and a three-dimensional model of bathymetric and photographic image was created.

These images are included in the geo-information system (GIS), in which all known data is collected from diving in 1900, as well as data from the 1976 survey conducted by the then Ministry of Culture in cooperation with sailor Jacques Yves Cousteau, the crew of Calypso and Greek volunteers. At the same time, details of this year's findings have been included, such as: data from the systematic review of the seabed in the area with metal detectors to determine the degree of dispersion of the debris and the surface discoveries.

The findings
As a result, a bronze spear that had belonged to a bronze or marble statue has been discovered and pulled up. A bronze ring mounted on a bronze nail containing wood from the ship on which it had been attached has been discovered in the same place and taken to land. A small part of a lead sheet that was from the leaden lining of the vessel was also pulled up. Finally, the lead part of the ship’s anchor found in 2013 was pulled up, as well as other findings from the surface, including a ring, a bronze point of a bed support and a copper piece of bed, and almost intact jug.

The new findings provide a more detailed image of the wreck and its location on the site. Accordingly, the close proximity to the second place where amphorae and elements of the structure of the vessel have been found posses new scientific questions about whether this is a continuation of the first shipwreck, or remains of another wreck.

The Exosuit which was programmed to help the research has only made experimental dives because of difficult weather conditions. Nevertheless, the much clearer image of the wreck and the trying out of new diving techniques and equipment make it possible and necessary for the planning of the next step  of the systematic excavations of the site.

On the part of the Agency for underwater archaeological monuments, the meeting was attended by the Director Dr. Angeliki Simos, and archaeologists, Dr. Brendan Foley from the Woods Hole, as well as Alexandros Tourtas, a graduate in Maritime Archaeology at the University of Southampton. Also present was Dr. Bitsakis from the group investigating the Antikythera mechanisms, who helped organize the expedition.

The Minister emphasized the scientific importance of the expedition, as well as the excellent cooperation of the public and private sector that has funded the programme.

Tags: shipwreck in Antikythera underwater archaeological excavations findings
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