International Mission Exploring Antikythera Shipwreck

International Mission Exploring Antikythera Shipwreck

antikythera_mechanism

A shipwreck in Antikythera, which was discovered just off the coast of Antikythera in the southern Aegean, Greece, will be explored by a mission including Greek and international experts. Archaeologists and scientists from all around the world will dive down to the shipwreck, expecting to make new discoveries. 

The first studies of the shipwreck were made by sponge divers from the Greek island of Symi who discovered the site with the support of the Royal Navy in 1900-01, and by French marine archaeologist Jacques-Yves Cousteau in 1976. However, with the aid of new technologies, the latest mission is expected to get much closer to the shipwreck. A research conducted in 2012 and 2013 by the islands of Crete and Antikythera, with the help of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Greece’s Underwater Antiquities Department, suggested the possible presence of a second shipwreck in the area.

It is estimated that the expedition, which will run for a month starting on September 15, will cost between 2 and 3 million dollars. It is funded by Swiss watchmaker Hublot and other Greek, American and Swiss companies.

Dr. Brendan Foley, head of the American section of the international expedition, said: “I am so excited that I often find myself wide awake thinking of the Antikythera shipwreck. What can be hiding down there? And one more thing: If there have been so many wonderful finds in just the one wreck that we managed to locate, how much more is there to discover in all the hundreds of thousands of wrecks lying at the bottom of the Mediterranean? And just think how such discoveries could change the way we view the ancient world and especially the Greek civilization.”

About two years ago the National Archaeological Museum inaugurated the exhibition “The Shipwreck of Antikythera: The ship – the treasures – the mechanism” which included findings from the shipwreck and the world’s oldest known analog computer, the “Antikythera mechanism.”

After its huge success in Greece, the exhibition will travel to Switzerland where it will be presented in 2015.