More than a century ago, a device now known as the Antikythera mechanism was found near a Roman shipwreck from the 1st century B.C. It could calculate astronomical changes with precision. It has baffled archaeologists with its sophistication, far beyond anything expected from so long ago.

The Antikythera Mechanism is a 2000-year-old mechanical device used to calculate the positions of the sun, moon, planets, and even the dates of the ancient Olympic Games. (Wikimedia Commons)

Marine archaeologists are now further exploring the wreck, off the Greek island of Antikythera in the Aegean Sea, and bringing up exciting artifacts. On Oct. 4, they announced the discovery of a bronze disc shaped like the Antikythera mechanism.

Hoping it might be part of the ancient “computer,” they examined it via x-ray. Instead of the hoped-for gears, however, under the hardened layer of sediment they found the likeness of a bull. The team will examine it in more detail in the weeks to come. It seems it was a decorative element.

Archaeologist Brendan Foley holds a bronze disc at the site of the Antikythera shipwreck. (Brett Seymour, EUA/ARGO)
Archaeologist Brendan Foley holds a bronze disc at the site of the Antikythera shipwreck. (Brett Seymour, EUA/ARGO)
(Brett Seymour, EUA/ARGO)
(Brett Seymour, EUA/ARGO)
An x-ray image of the bronze disc found at the Antikythera shipwreck. (Hellenic Ministry of Culture/EUA)
An x-ray image of the bronze disc found at the Antikythera shipwreck. (Hellenic Ministry of Culture/EUA)

Archaeologists found unique statues.

Other significant finds include parts of bronze statues. Bronze statues from the ancient world are rare, and most have been altered over the years. Studying these unaltered statues may yield great insights into the ancient culture that produced them.

Archaeologists may learn more about casting methods and the techniques of sculpting, but also about the social contexts that created the statues if they are able to identify whom the statues depict.

The arm of a bronze statue found at the Antikythera shipwreck site. (Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports)
The arm of a bronze statue found at the Antikythera shipwreck site. (Hellenic Ministry of Culture/EUA)

They also found human remains.

Last year, human remains were found at the site. Regarding DNA analysis of the remains, marine archaeologist Brendan Foley with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said in a press release: “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.”

Excavations in 2016 at the Antikythera Shipwreck produced a nearly intact skull, including the cranial parietal bones. (Brett Seymour, EUA/WHOI/ARGO)

Follow @TaraMacIsaac on Twitter and visit the Epoch Times Beyond Science page on Facebook to continue exploring the new frontiers of science!

In Beyond Science, Epoch Times explores research and accounts related to phenomena and theories that challenge our current knowledge. We delve into ideas that stimulate the imagination and open up new possibilities. Share your thoughts with us on these sometimes controversial topics in the comments section below. 

Share

Video Popular

  • Celebrating Arbor Day With Books

    Celebrating Arbor Day With Books

    Trees were once considered sacred and awe-inspiring: Oaks were worshiped by the European Druids, redwoods were a part of American Indian ritual, and baobabs a part of African tribal life. Ancient Chin...

  • Sharks Eat Their Greens, Too—First Omnivorous Species Confirmed

    Sharks Eat Their Greens, Too—First Omnivorous Species Confirmed

    Not all sharks feed only on meat—at least one shark species also feeds on seagrass. Scientists have confirmed that one of the most common sharks in the world is an omnivore. The bonnethead shark, a re...

  • Microsoft Flags Dangers to EU of Plans to Limit Data Use

    Microsoft Flags Dangers to EU of Plans to Limit Data Use

    Microsoft said on Sept. 5, that EU lawmakers’ copyright reforms limiting the use of potentially valuable data to non-profit bodies could damage the European Union’s digital development. Co...

  • How Setting a Schedule Can Make You Less Productive

    How Setting a Schedule Can Make You Less Productive

    It can seem like there’s never enough time—not enough for sleep and not enough for play, not enough for cooking. and not enough for exercise. There’s a relatively new term to describe this feeling: ti...

  • RiNo, Denver: America’s Best Place for a Bar Crawl?

    RiNo, Denver: America’s Best Place for a Bar Crawl?

    “RiNo reminds me of Williamsburg in 2004—just pretentious enough to be good, not yet pretentious enough to be annoying.” Kevin Burke is joking, of course. As the general manager of American Bonded—one...

  • Respecting Teachers and Cherishing Virtue

    Respecting Teachers and Cherishing Virtue

    Respecting teachers and cherishing virtues are part of the traditional ethics practiced by the Chinese people. Teachers, who impart morality, knowledge, and values, teach people the proper ways to int...

  • Home Ownership in Canada Declines, Reversing Long Upward Trend

    Home Ownership in Canada Declines, Reversing Long Upward Trend

    Home ownership in Canada fell for the first time in over 45 years, according to a Point2Homes study released this week. It had reached a record high of 69 percent in 2011, but as of 2016, it fell to 6...

  • Aretha Franklin Dresses, Hats to Go up for Auction

    Aretha Franklin Dresses, Hats to Go up for Auction

    NEW YORK—More than 30 dresses and accessories worn on stage by Aretha Franklin are going up for auction. The Queen of Soul died at age 76 in Detroit on Aug. 16. Julien’s Auctions says the items ...

  • 87 Elephants Found Slaughtered in Botswana, Africa

    87 Elephants Found Slaughtered in Botswana, Africa

    An alarming number of elephant carcasses have been discovered in aerial surveys across Botswana in what has been described as a “poaching frenzy.” Botswana was once known as a sanctuary fo...

  • Yes, Marijuana Can Be Addictive

    Yes, Marijuana Can Be Addictive

    The business world is salivating at the potential $22.6 billion recreational marijuana market in Canada, with more new pot users expected after legalization on Oct. 17. But public-health officials wan...

  • Google Races to Parry the Rise of Facebook in India

    Google Races to Parry the Rise of Facebook in India

    Google retains only a slight lead over Facebook in the competition for digital ad dollars in the crucial India market, sources familiar with the figures say, even though the search giant has been in t...

  • Canada in Brief, Sept. 6-12

    Canada in Brief, Sept. 6-12

    Trudeau says he won’t use ‘tricks’ to ram through pipeline construction Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pouring cold water on Alberta’s suggestion that the federal government use legislation or a cou...