Antikythera Yields More Finds

Discussion in 'Ancient History and Archaeology' started by Seahunter, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. Seahunter

    Seahunter
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    The famous Greek Antikythera shipwreck, named after a nearby island, was first discovered by Greek sponge divers in 1900. Since then, countless treasures have been recovered including numerous statues and pieces of the world’s first computer – the Antikythera mechanism.

    Between August 26 and September 16, an international team of divers, archaeologists and support personnel returned to the shipwreck. A ten-man dive team performed 61 dives in ten days. And it marked the first time archaeologists joined divers at the 180 feet deep siteaccording to Woods Hole Institute. The four archaeologists’ experience proved vital in recovering more than 50 items. But there’s still much to recover.

    Archaeologists Finally Get Their Hands Dirty at Greek Antikythera Shipwreck

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  2. surge

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    I'm always fascinated by what is recovered from shipwrecks. The water is an amazing preservative. I had always assumed that the Antikythera site had been thoroughly excavated long before now.
     
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  3. Seahunter

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    Actually, salt water is extremely harsh on artifacts. Things get preserved when they get covered in mud and silt and become in an anaerobic environment. This way metal cannot oxidize as quickly, and even wood is preserved very well if anaerobic. Water is detrimental, salts and other elements are bad, as well as critters such as worms. The best scenario is cold, freshwater wrecks which can be preserved quite well for extended periods.

    One of the most famous well-preserved shipwrecks is Vasa, a Swedish warship built between 1626 and 1628. The ship foundered and sank after sailing about 1,300 m (1,400 yd) into her maiden voyage on 10 August 1628. She fell into obscurity after most of her valuable bronze cannons were salvaged in the 17th century until she was located again in the late 1950s in a busy shipping lane just outside the Stockholm harbor. Salvaged with a largely intact hull in 1961, she was housed in a temporary museum called Wasavarvet ("The Wasa Shipyard") until 1988 and then moved to the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. The ship is one of Sweden's most popular tourist attractions and has been seen by over 29 million visitors since 1961.[2] Since her recovery, Vasa has become a widely recognized symbol of the Swedish "great power period" and is today a de facto standard in the media and among Swedes for evaluating the historical importance of shipwrecks.

    The ship was remarkably well-preserved, and is now restored.

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  4. surge

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    I never thought about the salt water being harmful, but is makes sense once I engage my brain. :confused:
     
  5. Seahunter

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    Yeah, I've worked in two conservation labs, and preservation of salt water artifacts is very difficult, time consuming, and expensive. If not properly cared for, artifacts brought up will simply disintegrate as they dry out. Stabilizing a large metal object like an anchor or cannon can take years.
     
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  6. 7Christie

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    So for the ship shown in your photo (post #3), SeahunterSeahunter, how much is restored verses original
     
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  7. curandero81

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    Wow...I had NO idea....I had (in error) assumed that particular site had exhausted all of her secrets years ago.
    Thanks for true update
    Are not COLD, DEEP and FRESHWATER the best at preservation...even human bodies ?
    And what about our own Great Lakes region ??
     
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