Archaeology buffs experiencing withdrawal symptoms since the information flow from the Amphipolis excavation in northern Greece slowed to a trickle over the past few weeks can always get a quick fix from the Antikythera Shipwreck mission.
The international team of archaeologists and engineers, as well as divers who made the descent to the ancient wreck off Greece’s southern coast, are expected to announce the findings of the first part of the mission, which ended in mid-October, in Piraeus on Wednesday.
The announcement will be made at the new jewel in Piraeus’s crown, the Library of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, which has moved into the Stringos Mansion that once housed the port city’s French Institute and will be inaugurated with this very special event, which will also feature a brief display of two or three of the priceless objects found at the underwater archaeological site, which also yielded the world’s oldest computer, the Antikythera Mechanism.
The scientific presentation will be conducted by the director of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, Dr Angeliki Simosi, the ephorate’s archaeological diver, Dr Theotokis Theodoulou, and American researcher and diver Dr Brendan Foley, who is head of the American section of the international underwater expedition and representative of the Massachusetts-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Panos Laskaridis will also speak as head of the foundation, which supported the mission by donating a ship to the team. Addresses will also be made by Culture Minister Constantinos Tasoulas and Kythera-Antikythera Mayor Efstratios Harhalakis, as well as by Mathias Buttet, R&D director of watchmaker Hublot, which is one of the main sponsors of the mission, together with US company Nuytco Research, which designed and donated the state-of-the art Exosuit that made the dive down to the wreck possible, and Greek telecom operator Cosmote.
Though details have not been divulged about the findings that will be shown to the public at the presentation, Simosi did say in a recent press conference that there will be a description of the history of the wreck’s exploration as well as revelations about the most recent findings.