Antikythera Shipwreck Yields More Treasures

The ancient Antikythera shipwreck — a lavish Greek vessel that sank more than 2,000 years ago off the southwestern Aegean island of the same name — isn’t finished giving up its secrets.

The shipwreck was found by Greek sponge fishermen in 1900. Over the past century, marine archaeologists have recovered marble and bronze statues and sculptures from the wreck, along with an odd clock-like device that some call the “world’s oldest computer.”

Now an international team of archaeologists has recovered even more treasures — a trove of more than 50 items, including a bronze armrest, remains of a bone flute, fine glassware, luxury ceramics, a pawn from an ancient board game and several pieces of the ship itself.

The researchers believe the new findings offer a glimpse into the opulent lifestyles of ancient Greece’s elite societies.

“These artifacts show us the life of a newly emerging elite in Greece and Rome, with enormous wealth distributed among a larger elite than ever before in history,” Dr. Brendan Foley, a marine archaeologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts and co-director of the research team, told The Huffington Post in an email.

“The goods on the ship came from what is now Syria and Lebanon, cities in Anatolia and Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), and the Greek islands of Rhodes, Paros, and Delos,” he continued. “The ship and its cargo represent the start of an economy based on consumption of products from a wide area, borne on sea lanes, and supported by new mechanisms of insurance and diversification of risk.”

A video released Monday (above) shows the archaeologists and divers scouring the seafloor and unearthing the artifacts. Jump to 5:45 in the video for an up-close look at the items.

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