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Antikythera Shipwreck Continues to Offer Relics for Over 120 years

By: Weston Ma

A cargo ship sank around 2,000 years ago, and it contains many ancient relics. In June of 2022, researchers found the head of a Hercules statue that was made from marble. The team thinks it is part of the statue found during the first expedition into the ship. "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 mostly marble piece. It is twice Lifesize, has a big beard, a very face, and short hair. There is no doubt it is Hercules."

The ship dates to 60 BC when Greece was controlled by the Roman Empire. Captain Dimitrios Kondos led his team on their first excavation in 1900. The divers managed to get 36 marble statues of mythical characters. They also discovered bronze statues, which is rare because most of them were melted down to manufacture coins, tools, and weapons.

However, the most important find is the Antikythera Mechanism. It is often called the oldest computer. It calculated and showed astronomical events. The team stopped the exploration after a death and two injuries. In 1976, Jacques-Yves Cousteau returned to the shipwreck and foundhuman remains and other items.

The latest discoveries have been Hercules’s head, another marble statue, and two human teeth. They were found in 2012. The relics will be added to the already impressive collection of the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

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