The Shipwreck

The Antikythera shipwreck location

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Location and possible itinerarie of the shipwreck from the 2nd quarter of the 1st century BC, discovered by sponge divers off Point Glyphadia on the Greek island of Antikythera in 1900, from where the Antikythera mechanism was recoverd.

"Some scholars have speculated that the ship was carrying part of the loot of the Roman General Sulla from Athens in 86 BC, and might have been on its way to Italy. A reference by the Greek writer, Lucian, to one of Sulla's ships sinking in the Antikythera region gave rise to this theory. Supporting an early 1st century BC date were domestic utensils and objects from the ship, similar to those known from other 1st century BC contexts. The amphorai recovered from the wreck indicated a date of 80–70 BC, the Hellenistic pottery a date of 75–50 BC, and the Roman ceramics were similar to known mid-1st century types. The latest coin discovered in the 1970s during work by Jacques Cousteau and associates is datable between 76 and 67 BC. It has been suggested that the sunken cargo ship was en route to Rome with looted treasures, to support atriumphal parade being planned for Julius Caesar." (Wikipedia, Antikythera wreck)

 Photo: Vasilis Mentogiannis

Mapping the Antikythera Shipwreck - Sirius Underwater Robot (AUV) at Work

Exosuit Dives in Greece - Antikythera Shipwreck

Returning to Greece from a diving expedition around Northern Africa, Captain Dimitrios Kondos ran into some wild weather to the north of Crete, and decided to shelter from the storm near the small island of Antikythera. While things above the surface were pretty unpleasant, Kondos sent a team down to see if they might be able to pick up any more sponges while they waited for the storm to pass...

(Photo: Captain Kondos' ship, 1900. Gizmag, Hublot painstakingly recreates a mysterious, 2,100-year-old clockwork relic - but why?)

The death of several divers from decompression sickness put an end to work at the site in the early 20th century. The French naval officer and explorer Jacques Cousteau would later dive there to search for more artifacts. (Wikipedia, Antikythera wreck)


National Archaeological Museum of Athens:

Τhe ship that sank off Antikythera was a freighter (holkas, in ancient Greek) of an estimated capacity of ca. 300 tons. Her physical remains are meager and the wreck, at a depth of some 52m., has not yet been mapped.

The wooden pegs and tenons used in the Antikythera ship were made of oak (Lat. quercus), whereas the planks were made of elm (Lat. ulmus). Forged spikes were made of copper-alloy. 

Photo: Fragment of a hull plank and bronze spikes.
(National Archaeological Museum of Athens: THE ANTIKYTHERA SHIPWRECK)

The Technology of the ship, the cargo, the Mechanism.
Η τεχνολογία του πλοίου, του φορτίου, του Μηχανισμού.                by ANASTASIA GADOLOU

         Reconstruction of a commercial ship (Drawing by Nektaria Roumelioti)

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