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After 120 Years, Antikythera Shipwreck Continues to Produce Artifacts

By: Alex Chu

Over 2000 years ago, a Roman-era cargo ship sank near a Greek island called Antikythera. In 1900 the shipwreck was examined and there were discovered to be several treasures onboard. At the end of June, researchers discovered a great treasure on the ship.

The discovery was a marble head of the Greek and Roman demigod Hercules. The expedition team thinks it might be a sculpture of Hercules with a missing head found during the first trip to the shipwreck. "In 1900, [sponge divers] pulled out the statue of Hercules, and now in all, we've found its head," explained lead researcher and archeologist Lorenz Baumer. "It's a marble piece. It is twice life-size, has a big beard, a very face, and short hair. There is no doubt it is Hercules."

The ancient Roman vessel is from 60 BCE when Greece was under the rule of the Roman Empire. Captain Dimitrios Kondos’s team led the first ever wave of excavations in 1900. The divers found 36 marble statues including mythological figures and they also found a couple of bronze statues which was not expected because the Greeks mainly use bronze to make coins and weapons.

However, the biggest find in their excavation was the Antikythera Mechanism. Often referred to as the world's oldest computer, it calculated information about phenomena, such as eclipses, in advance. The exploration ended in 1901 because 2 divers got killed and 2 others got paralyzed and sick.

In 1976 a new crew went to the same exhibition and found lots of objects including a human skeletal. The most recent was in 2012 and the marble head was displayed in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece.

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