Exhibition of the Antikythera Mechanism and Shipwreck at the Archaeological Museum of Athens
All antiquities recovered in 1900-1901 and 1976 from the legendary shipwreck off the islet of Antikythera, south of the Peloponnese, will be presented for the first time in a temporary exhibition from April 2012 and for a year at the National Archaeological Museum. The recovery of the shipwreck itself was the first major underwater archaeological expedition. It was undertaken by sponge divers, with the assistance of the Greek Royal Navy (1900-1901). Correspondence, press, photographs and films will document the story of its discovery and recovery and the methods used. The second underwater research was carried out in 1976 by the Greek Archaeological service and J.-Y. Cousteau’s oceonographic “Calypso”.
The wreck is dated aproximately in 60-50 BC, though its cargo from the 4th to the 1st century BC. The study of the cargo will deal with the circulation and trade in the East Mediterranean from the point of view of the aesthetic taste of the rising Roman elite in the end of the Hellenistic Era and the Rome’s democratic period. The famous Antikythera mechanism dates from around the end of the 2nd century B.C. and is the most sophisticated mechanism known from the ancient world. Nothing as complex is known for the next thousand years. For decades, scientific investigation failed to yield much light and relied more on imagination than the facts. However research over the last half century has begun to reveal its secrets. The Antikythera Mechanism is now understood to be dedicated to astronomical phenomena and operates as a complex mechanical "computer" which tracks the cycles of the Solar System. For more information on the temporary exhibition and other exhibits at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, go to: http://www.namuseum.gr/exhibitions/temporary/n_temporary-en.html