Archaeology: How historians were stunned by shipwreck skeleton in ‘incredible condition’ | World | News

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The startling find was made in 2016 by a group of archaeologists led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports. They discovered a 2,050-year-old human skeleton during the excavation of the famous Antikythera shipwreck. Antikythera is a Greek island lying on the edge of the Aegean Sea, and was the setting of the incredible unearthing of a Roman shipwreck. The Antikythera ship was thought to have been carrying looted treasures from the coast of Asia Minor to Rome, to support a triumphal parade being planned for historic ruler Julius Caesar.

The wreck was discovered in 1900 by a group of Greek sponge divers on their way to Tunisia who took shelter from a storm near the island and decided to look for sponges while they waited for calmer conditions.

Early excavations at the site revealed a wealth of discoveries that today are housed in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece.

Among these are three life-size marble horses, jewellery, coins, glassware, and hundreds of works of art, including a 7-foot-tall statue of Hercules.

The most surprising discovery was the corroded remnants of a complex device known as Antikythera Mechanism.

It is believed to be an early analog computer used to plan important events including religious rituals, the early Olympic Games, and agricultural activities.

It has been said to have been capable of predicting the movement of the Sun, Moon, and several planets, as well as the timing of solar and lunar eclipses years into the future.

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Dr. Hannes Schroeder, an expert in ancient DNA at the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen said: “Against all odds, the bones survived over 2,000 years at the bottom of the sea and they appear to be in fairly good condition, which is incredible.”

Dr. Brendan Foley, a marine archaeologist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said: “Archaeologists study the human past through the objects our ancestors created.

“With the Antikythera shipwreck, we can now connect directly with this person who sailed and died aboard the Antikythera ship.”



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