Antikythera Shipwreck: New findings of underwater archaeological research

In October 2019, the underwater archaeological research was re-activated in the flagship of Antikythera, with the exclusive Greek participation under the direction of Dr. Angeliki G. Simosi, Director of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Evia.

The business was crowned with great success, despite the adverse weather conditions and the limited duration of the research life-saving. The research was supported by the Catherine Laskaridis Foundation with the assistance of the ship “Typhoon”, which was granted by the Athanasios Laskaridis Public Benefit Foundation for the duration of field investigations.

Initially the shipwreck was re-identified and re-bounded after the last survey in September 2017. Five sacks of sand were left undone from the previous excavation period, the products of which were carefully screened with special care. Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and the presence of two archaeologists.

During the separation process, bones were collected that need to be analyzed, possibly olive kernels, copper nails from the ship and a bronze ring unknown at present.

In addition, a 110x110x45cm plastic basket filled with amphora sections, bases, necks and bodies saved from the abdomen to the base was lifted. Among the findings was an iron stub with a circular end.

Importantly, a different species was identified among the amphorae bases from the island of Kos, whose origin is not yet known and their identification is required. At the bottom of the wreck, three amphorae necks were lifted from the bottom of the wreck, two of Laboglia 2 from Lower Italy and one of Kos, as well as an integral Kos of incomplete amphorae on one handle.

An impressive find is a piece of wood that is probably a static element of the wreck that has 4 bronze nails. All the findings were transferred to the laboratories of the Ephorate of Antiquities for maintenance.

The present study supplemented by the method of photogrammetry the design map of the shipwreck area, which remained unfinished.

From the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities Dr. Georgios Koutsouflakis as Research Officer, Sector, Catherine Dagonidou, submerged architect, and Chrysa Fousekis, submerged conservator, whose the presence has contributed greatly to the success of the mission and the Director of Research is grateful.

Underwater research also involved four Coast Guard divers for the first time: Dimitrios Stamoulis, George Litrivis, Dimitrios Hadjiaslan and Athanasios Keitzis, bottom technicians Alexandros Sotiriou, Nikos Ohanoulosos and Dianos Ioannoulos and Nikos Giannoulakis. Achilles Dionysopoulos.

All research work was covered by cameraman Michael Tsimperopoulos. Operationally responsible for the investigation was Alexander Palatian, Chief of the Navy.

The Director of Research, diving archaeologist Dr. Angeliki G. Simossi, dived and remained on the field throughout the twenty-member mission’s investigations, the size of which is considered for the first time so impressive, in addition to the participants, who had well-trained and immersive submarines, of vessels by the “Typhoon”.

The only vessel in the Aegean is 72 meters long and 16 meters wide, and is equipped with state-of-the-art navigational equipment. Its business platform houses five large inflatables, alert at all times for the required lifts.

This scientific mission of October 2019 completed the first five-year research program. Based on the results of the latest research, preparations for the new five-year program, starting in May 2020, begin immediately with the continuation of excavation research in various areas of the wreck, where there are plausible indications that new impressive findings will come to light.

Following the submission of the first excavation report of the five years of research, the results of the overall research program of the first five years are forthcoming.

Acknowledgments are due to the sponsors of the research, the Catherine Laskaridis Foundation, the Swiss watchmaker Hublot and the Athanasius Laskarid Public Benefit Foundation, to the Kythira Antikythera Mayor Efstratios Charchalakis, and to their members, of the mission held a special information event.

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