Atlantis Online
September 22, 2017, 03:36:30 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: USA showered by a watery comet ~11,000 years ago, ending the Golden Age of man in America
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20050926/mammoth_02.html
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

Marine Archaeologists Excavate Greek Antikythera Shipwreck

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Marine Archaeologists Excavate Greek Antikythera Shipwreck  (Read 133 times)
Danielle Gorree
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 4264



« on: September 29, 2015, 03:09:12 am »

Marine Archaeologists Excavate Greek Antikythera Shipwreck

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Relations Office

media@whoi.edu

September 24, 2015

(508) 289-3340

Archaeologists excavating the famous ancient Greek shipwreck that yielded the Antikythera mechanism have recovered more than 50 items including a bronze armrest (possibly part of a throne), remains of a bone flute, fine glassware, luxury ceramics, a pawn from an ancient board game, and several elements of the ship itself. 

“This shipwreck is far from exhausted,” reports project co-Director Dr. Brendan Foley, a marine archaeologist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). “Every single dive on it delivers fabulous finds, and reveals how the ‘1 percent’ lived in the time of Caesar.”

The shipwreck dates to circa 65 B.C., and was discovered by Greek sponge fishermen in 1900 off the southwestern Aegean island of Antikythera. They salvaged 36 marble statues of mythological heroes and gods; a life-sized bronze statue of an athlete; pieces of several more bronze sculptures; scores of luxury items; and skeletal remains of crew and passengers. The wreck also relinquished fragments of the world’s first computer: the Antikythera Mechanism, a geared mechanical device that encoded the movements of the planets and stars and predicted eclipses.

The 2015 expedition is part of a long-term research program at the site, which began in 2014. It was the first scientific excavation of the wreck, and launched the first comprehensive study of all of its artifacts. During the new multi-year program the team expects to recover artifacts and ancient artwork still buried in the seafloor, and recreate the history of the ship’s exquisite cargo and its final voyage.

During an expedition mounted in 2014 the researchers created a high-resolution, 3D map of the site using stereo cameras mounted on an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Hampered by bad weather, the expedition included just four dive days for professional technical divers who recovered a series of finds on the surface sediment and proved that much of the ship’s cargo is indeed still preserved beneath the sediment.

By contrast, this year’s expedition included 40 hours of bottom time, with four professional archaeologists diving the site and performing controlled excavation to the highest scientific standard with specially designed equipment, and with the guidance of an exquisitely precise multi-dimensional map of 10,500 square meters of sea floor.

In addition to Foley, the 2015 exploration at Antikythera was conducted by the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities under director Dr. Ageliki Simosi and field archaeologists Dr. Theotokis Theodoulou and Dr. Dimitris Kourkoumelis.

The international team was in the field from 26 August to 16 September, following an autonomous robotic mapping effort conducted from 8-15 June in partnership with the University of Sydney, Australia. The project is the first-ever systematic excavation of this shipwreck, relying on the precise large-area map created by the robotic survey. Notably, this project marked the first time in the century since the wreck’s discovery that archaeologists were able to join specialist divers in descending to the 55-meter (180 feet) deep site. The ten-man dive team used advanced technical diving equipment including closed-circuit rebreathers and trimix breathing gases, performing 61 dives in 10 days of diving on the wreck. A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) monitored and recorded all diving activities, and served as a communications link between divers and support personnel on the surface.

The 2015 expedition has left the team with the best understanding yet of this unique shipwreck and its cargo. A metal detection survey of the site revealed that metallic targets are dispersed over an area of about 40x50 meters. This is thought to match the wreck’s debris field, indicating the vast size of the ship that sank off the forbidding cliffs of Antikythera.

Metal detectors revealed the presence of buried objects throughout the wreck site. The dive team recovered items including an intact amphora; a large lead salvage ring; two lead anchor stocks (possibly indicating the ship’s bow); fragments of lead hull sheathing; a small and finely formed lagynos (or table jug); and a chiseled rectangular stone object (possibly the base of a statuette) perforated by 12 holes and filled with an as-yet-unidentified substance.

During the project, the dive team carefully excavated a series of nine trenches in the seabed using a water dredge powered by a submersible pump. The divers recovered more than 50 artifacts, most deeply buried beneath a thick layer of coarse sand and massive deposits of broken ceramics. From among these fragments, the team recovered wooden remains from the hull of the ship; a section of bronze furniture, perhaps from a throne; part of a bone flute; a glass “chessman” board game element; bronze nails from the ship’s planks; and portions of bronze, iron, glass and ceramic objects.

“We were very lucky this year, as we excavated many finds within their context, which gave us the opportunity to take full advantage of all the archaeological information they could provide,” states diving archaeologist Dr. Theodoulou.

The team created 3D virtual reconstructions of many artifacts on the seafloor, and 3D-modeled all of the major recovered artifacts once on shore. A series of scientific analyses are now being conducted on these artifacts, including ancient DNA analysis of ceramic jars to identify the 2,000 year-old food, drinks, perfumes, and medicines contained in them. Isotopic analysis of lead objects will determine where the lead was mined, to reveal the home port of the ship.

Previously recovered artifacts from the Antikythera Shipwreck will be displayed in a special exhibition “Der Versunkene Schatz das Schiffswrack von Antikythera” [The Sunken Treasure of the Antikythera Shipwreck] at the Basel Antiquities Museum in Switzerland from 27 September 2015 to 27 March 2016. This is the first time that these ancient treasures have been allowed to leave the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

The 2015 project team includes Greek and foreign archaeologists, technical divers, engineers, photographers, filmmakers, technicians, etc. (Y. Bitsakis, D. Conlin, J. Fardoulis, N. Giannoulakis, C. Kaiser, Μ. Kelaides, E. Kovacs, C. Lees, D. Manoliadis, Ε. O’Brien, O. Pizarro, D. Romios, B. Seymour, P. Short, G. Smith, Α. Sotiriou, A. Tourtas, Μ. Tsimperopoulos, S. Williams). The robotic mapping surveys were conducted by the Australian Centre for Field Robotics of the University of Sydney. The research team expressed gratitude to supporters of their project including the Swiss premier horology company Hublot S.A., the Swordspoint Foundation (USA), the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, Jane and James Orr, private sponsors of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Costa Navarino, the Municipality of Kythera and the community and residents of Antikythera, and OTE-Cosmote, which provided telecommunications in the field.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean's role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit www.whoi.edu.

Originally published: September 24, 2015

http://www.whoi.edu/news-release/antikythera-shipwreck-excavation
Report Spam   Logged

Social Buttons

Danielle Gorree
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 4264



« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2015, 03:11:48 am »

Archaeologists excavating the famous ancient Greek shipwreck that yielded the Antikythera mechanism have recovered more than 50 items including an intact amphora; a large lead salvage ring; two lead anchor stocks (possibly indicating the ship’s bow); fragments of lead hull sheathing; and a small and finely formed lagynos (or table jug). (Photo by Brett Seymour, EUA/ARGO)

[Gallery Photo]Zoom

The 2015 expedition marked the first time archaeologists were able to join specialist divers in descending to the 55-meter (180 feet) deep site. The ten-man dive team used advanced technical diving equipment including closed-circuit rebreathers and trimix breathing gases, performing 61 dives in 10 days of diving on the wreck. (Brett Seymour, EUA/ARGO )

[Gallery Photo]Zoom

The international team was in the field from 26 August to 16 September, following an autonomous robotic mapping effort conducted from 8-15 June in partnership with the University of Sydney, Australia. (Brendan Foley, EUA/ARGO)

http://www.whoi.edu/news-release/antikythera-shipwreck-excavation
Report Spam   Logged
Thanh Duoung
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3198



« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2015, 01:06:47 am »






Divers carefully retrieved artifacts from the sea floor. Image Credit: YouTube / Return to Antikythera
Report Spam   Logged
Thanh Duoung
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3198



« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2015, 01:07:41 am »

More treasures found in Antikythera wreck
Posted on Thursday, 1 October, 2015


Divers exploring a 2,000-year-old shipwreck off the coast of Greece have found over 50 new artifacts.
Located on the sea floor off the island of Antikythera, the ancient sailing vessel, which is believed to be one of the largest Roman era ships ever found, was originally home to the famous Antikythera mechanism, an early 'computer' that was used by seafarers to chart the motion of the planets.

A recent expedition to the site of the wreckage, which hoped to recover more such devices from the sea floor, has so far managed to retrieve several dozen new artifacts from the ship's remains including a bone or ivory flute, fragments of glassware and the bronze armrest from a throne.

"Every single dive on the wreck delivers something interesting; something beautiful," said project co-director Brendan Foley from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. "It’s like a tractor-trailer truck wrecked on the way to Christie’s auction house for fine art - it's just amazing."

The Antikythera wreck has been explored several times over the last 115 years with the mechanism itself having been discovered by Greek sponge divers all the way back in the year 1900.

While it isn't clear if there really is more than one of the devices down there, exploration teams are hoping that one day soon they will locate something in the wreck that is equally as significant.

In the meantime though, with a treasure trove of unique artifacts dating back two millennia, the wreckage is likely to remain a place of great interest to archaeologists for many years to come.



   
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/antikythera-shipwreck-yields-new-cache-ancient-treasures-180956775/?no-ist
Report Spam   Logged
Thanh Duoung
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3198



« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2015, 01:12:27 am »

Antikythera Shipwreck Yields New Cache of Ancient Treasures
Scientists have recovered more than 50 artifacts from the site, including a bronze armrest that was possibly part of a throne



Fig.02_ANTI_150908_DUW_BS-067a.jpg
Divers examine ceramic artifacts that may hold clues about ancient medicines, perfumes and food. (Brett Seymour EUA/ARGO)
Report Spam   Logged
Thanh Duoung
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3198



« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2015, 01:13:03 am »


By Maya Wei-Haas
smithsonian.com
September 29, 2015

Over 2,000 years ago, the churning ocean below the cliffs of the Greek island Antikythera swallowed a massive ship loaded with a trove of luxuries—fine glassware, marble statues and, famously, a complex geared device thought to be the earliest computer.

Discovered by Greek sponge divers in 1900, the shipwreck has since yielded some of the most impressive antiquities to date. And while severe weather has hampered recent dives, earlier this month a team of explorers recovered more than 50 stunning new items, including a bone or ivory flute, delicate glassware fragments, ceramics jugs, parts of the ship itself and a bronze armrest from what was possibly a throne.

“Every single dive on the wreck delivers something interesting; something beautiful,” marvels Brendan Foley, a marine archeologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and co-director of the project. “It’s like a tractor-trailer truck wrecked on the way to Christie’s auction house for fine art—it’s just amazing.”

The wreck of the Antikythera ship hides beneath a few feet of sand and scattered shards of ceramic fragments at a depth of about 180 feet. Following an initial excavation funded by the Greek government, explorer Jacques Cousteau returned to the wreck in 1976 to mine the seemingly endless bounty, recovering hundreds of items.

But with even more modern advances in diving and scientific equipment, scientists believed the Antikythera wreckage had more secrets to reveal.

In 2014, an international team of archaeologists, divers, engineers, filmmakers and technicians embarked on the first excavation of this site in 40 years, using detailed and meticulous scientific techniques to not only find new treasures but also to try and reconstruct the ship's history.

The team used autonomous robots to produce hyper-precise maps of the site in partnership with the University of Sydney Australia, says Foley. These maps—accurate down to about a tenth of an inch—were pivotal for both planning dives and mapping discoveries.

The team also carefully scanned the site with metal detectors, mapping out the extent of the wreckage and deciding where to excavate. Using waterproofed iPads, the divers could mark each new artifact on the map in real time.
Report Spam   Logged
Thanh Duoung
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3198



« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2015, 01:13:37 am »

For the latest round of dives, a ten-person team logged over 40 hours underwater, surfacing with the fresh haul. Analyzing the artifacts should provide the team with a wealth of information, says Foley.

The Antikythera shipwreck is spread across two different sites separated by about the length of a football field, he says. Analytic tools, like comparing the stamps on amphora handles from each site, will help scientists determine whether the wreck represents one or two ships.

If it was two ships, “that opens up a whole series of questions,” says Foley. “Were they sailing together? Did one try to help the other?”

Still, the large size of objects recovered at the primary wreckage site suggests that at least one ship was massive, akin to an ancient grain ship. One such item recently recovered as part of the latest haul was a lead salvage ring about 15.7 inches wide, used to straighten tangled anchor lines.
In their latest expedition, divers recovered over 50 artifacts, which hint at the history of the massive ship. (Brett Seymour EUA/ARGO)

Scientists hope to learn more about the origin of the ship—or ships—by analyzing the isotopic composition of lead artifacts similar to this ring, which will yield information about where the vessel itself was made.

For the ceramic artifacts, the team plans to look closely at any residues preserved inside the container walls. “Not only are [the ceramics] beautiful in their own right, but we can extract DNA from them,” says Foley. That could give information about ancient medicines, cosmetics and perfumes.

The team currently has plans to head back out to the site in May, but the future of the project is open-ended. With so much information to glean from the current set of artifacts, Foley says that they could let the site sit for another generation. With the rapid advance of technology, future expeditions may have even better techniques and be able to discover even more about the wreckage.

“What will be available a generation from now, we can’t even guess,” he says.

Related Content

    Exploring the <i>Titanic</i> of the Ancient World
    Decoding the Antikythera Mechanism, the First Computer
    Mysterious Antikythera Mechanism Is Even Older Than We Thought

Report Spam   Logged
Thanh Duoung
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3198



« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2015, 01:13:58 am »

Report Spam   Logged
Thanh Duoung
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3198



« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2015, 01:14:00 am »

Report Spam   Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum | Buy traffic for your forum/website
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines