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In Photos: Diving for Famed Antikythera Shipwreck

Famed Shipwreck

divers at the Antikythera shipwreck site

(Image credit: Hellenic Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and WHOI)

A famed Roman shipwreck, from the first century B.C., resting off the Greek Island of Antikythera may be two sunken ships. Here, scientist divers explore the wreck site in the strait between Crete and Peloponnese.

Antikythera Anchor

divers at the Antikythera shipwreck site

(Image credit: Hellenic Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and WHOI)

Here a researcher examines the anchor of what may be the Antikythera wreck or another wreck nearby. They are uncertain because they used Costeau's Antikythera expedition videos to gauge where to anchor their boat. Since some of the shots in the video were almost certainly staged, the researchers can't be sure they weren't diving at a site hundreds of yards away from the site explored in 1976.

Looking for Artifacts

divers at the Antikythera shipwreck site

(Image credit: Hellenic Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and WHOI)

The Antikythera wreck is famed for the massive number of artifacts pulled from the site over the past century. Here divers explore the site.

The Mechanism

the Antikythera mechanism

(Image credit: Courtesy Wikipedia Commons)

First discovered in the early 1900s by local sponge divers, the wreck is most famous for the Antikythera mechanism, which contains a maze of interlocking gears and mysterious characters etched all over its exposed faces. Originally thought to be a kind of navigational astrolabe, archaeologists continue to uncover its uses and now know that it was, at the very least, a highly intricate astronomical calendar.

Lots of Gears

the Antikythera mechanism

(Image credit: Antikythera Mechanism Research Project)

A computer-generated reconstruction of the front and back of the Antikythera Mechanism.

Prepare for a Dive

divers at the Antikythera shipwreck site

(Image credit: Hellenic Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and WHOI)

Scientists prepare for their dives into the strait where the famed Antikythera shipwreck lies.