Archeologists have uncovered a 2,100-year-old human skeleton from the largest ancient shipwreck ever discovered off the coast of the Greek island of Antikythera, that had earlier yieled an astounding artifact known as the world’s first computer.
Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US, excavated a human skull including a jaw and teeth, long bones of the arms and legs, ribs and other remains.
Other portions of the skeleton are still embedded in the seafloor, awaiting excavation during the next phase of operations, researchers said.
The skeleton was recovered from the Antikythera shipwreck located off the Greek island in the Aegean Sea. It is the largest ancient shipwreck ever discovered, possibly a massive grain carrier. It was discovered in 1900 by sponge divers.
“Archaeologists study the human past through the objects our ancestors created,” said Brendan Foley, a marine archaeologist with WHOI.
“With the Antikythera Shipwreck, we can now connect directly with this person who sailed and died aboard the Antikythera ship,” Foley said.
In addition to dozens of marble statues and thousands of antiquities, their efforts produced the Antikythera Mechanism, an astounding artifact known as the world’s first computer.
The skeleton discovered last month is the first to be recovered from an ancient shipwreck since the advent of DNA studies.
“Against all odds, the bones survived over 2,000 years at the bottom of the sea and they appear to be in fairly good condition, which is incredible,” said Hannes Schroeder of the Natural History Museum of Denmark .
The research team generates precise 3D digital models of every artifact, allowing discoveries to be shared instantly and widely even if the objects remain on the sea floor.
Several 3D models of the skeletal remains are available on the Antikythera Project webpage.