All antiquities recovered in 1900-1901 and 1976 from the legendary shipwreck off the islet of Antikythera, south of the Peloponnese, will be presented for the first time in a temporary exhibition entitled “THE ANTIKYTHERA SHIPWRECK: The ship – the treasures – the Mechanism”, starting in April 2012 and lasting a year, at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
The recovery of the shipwreck itself was the first major underwater archaeological expedition to be conducted in Greece. It was undertaken by sponge divers, with the assistance of the Greek Royal Navy from 1900 to 1901.
Correspondence, press, photographs and films document the story of its discovery and recovery, as well as the methods used.
The second underwater research expedition was carried out in 1976 by the Greek Archaeological service and Jean-Yves Cousteau’s legendary oceanographic “Calypso”.
In total, 378 artifacts will be presented to the public, including sculptures and luxurious items, ceramic, glass and bronze vessels, coins, jewelry, parts of a bed, parts of the shipwreck itself, and even food remains from a time when commercial navigation and sea transports of works of art from the East to the West had reached their peak. The world’s oldest known analog computer or astrological calculator, the Antikythera mechanism, and the bronze statue of the Antikythera Youth will certainly attract the audiences’ attention.
The wreck is dated at approximately 60-50 BC, though its cargo ranges from the 4th to the 1st century BC. The study of the cargo deals with the circulation and trade in the East Mediterranean from the point of view of the aesthetic taste of the rising Roman elite at the end of the Hellenistic Era and Rome’s democratic period.
The exhibition is realized with funds from the Swiss company Hublot and the educational programmes, which are offered for free, are sponsored by the Greek private bank, Alpha Bank.
During the exhibition, the official website of the National Museum’s unit titled “Object of the Month”…>> will host selected works of art from the wreck.