Marble Head of Hercules Discovered in an Ancient Roman Shipwreck Site

A ship from the Roman era discovered off the island of Antikythera in Greece over 120 years ago is considered to be the world’s richest shipwreck of ancient times. It has reportedly yielded yet more treasures in the recent explorations. Underwater archaeologists have unearthed the head of a statue of Hercules. It is 2,000 years old. They have also found some other artifacts like human teeth.

Per The Guardian, Professor Lorenz Baumer, a classical archaeologist, working in association with the University of Geneva for supervising the underwater mission, said that it was in 1900 when sponge divers had pulled out a statue of Hercules from the sea. It is now that its head has been discovered.

Mr Baumer described it as an impressive marble piece and described the feartures of the statue that reflects the hallmarks of one of the great heroic figures of Roman and Greek mythologies.

It is twice life-size, has a big beard, a face, and short hair. There is no doubt it is Hercules, Mr Baumer stated, per the outlet.

The discovery of the sculpture, along with human teeth, another marble statue, and some parts of the vessel’s equipment, was only possible on removing three boulders that covered the wreck partially at the sea bed bottom. For about three weeks, the research team comprising marine archaeologists and trained divers had access to an area never explored ever before.

The Guardian has reported that two teeth had been embedded in the encrusted marine deposits on the rich shipwreck. Researchers now believe that the isotopic and genetic analysis of the remains could prove path breaking in shedding light on people who sailed the vessel.

Several expeditions had earlier explored the wreck. Most popular among its cargo was the Antikythera Mechanism. It is a device that facilitates the mapping of motions of the moon, sun, and planets. It has been described by scientists as the first analogue computer of the world.

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