(Greece) – Although the Antikythera Shipwreck was discovered over 100 years ago in the year 1900 by sponge divers, its wonders are still being uncovered. Hailed as one of the richest shipwrecks to date, anything from an ancient computer, known as the Antikythera Mechanism, coins, statues, and jewels have been uncovered. Many of these treasures, including part of the ancient ship itself, are on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Greece.
Now, we can add “human skeleton” to the list. What’s significant about the human remains is that it enables researches a rare chance to discover what mariners were like in antiquity at the time. The treasures aboard the ship have been dated to around 2000 years ago and it will be interesting to determine how old the skeleton actually is. Researchers are hoping that some DNA is still present so that they could unlock other clues as to what life was like for the ancient mariners of the time.
The skeleton was discovered by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, which is located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Together with the Greek Cultural Ministry, the institution conducted an excavation at the Antikythera Shipwreck site. Although it is rare, human remains have been found with shipwrecks in the past. However, this occurred before DNA testing was an option.
Many of the artifacts that were found at the shipwreck site have already been uncovered and dated. In fact, this was done within two years of discovered the wreck. It took much longer to date the shipwreck itself, since the fact that it was underwater caused some complications. The famous Antikythera Mechanism helped to uncover the true date of the wreck because it was determined that the mechanism was made in 87 B.C. and was lost in the sea only a few years after it was made.