A ship with a precious cargo sank off the east coast of Greek island Antikythera, around the second quarter of the 1st century BC. Scholars speculate that the ship was carrying its treasures from Delos to Rome, it may even have been ferrying the loot taken by Roman General Sulla from Athens in 86 BC. At that time, the rich people of dominant Rome enjoyed decorating their villas with Greek art and luxuries.

In 1900, the shipwreck’s cargo of important ancient creations were uncovered by sponge-fishers, at a depth of 50 metres.

Over ten months, the sponge fishers retrieved 108 objects; statues, coarse pottery and the famous bronze “Antikythera mechanism”, a two-thousand-year-old computer.

Experts have identified the figures of gods and heroes among the statues, though many are badly corroded by salt water.

Investigations are ongoing around the “Antikythera mechanism”. Calcified after two thousand years, its gearwheels are welded together, but as the BBC states, “it is now regarded as the world’s oldest computer, devised to predict solar eclipses and, according to recent findings, calculate the timing of the ancient Olympics.”

Much of the contents of the Antikythera shipwreck can now be seen at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece. See our photo gallery here:

See also

“The Antikythera Shipwreck” – The Ship, the Treasures, the Mechanism at the National Archaeological Museum, Greece

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