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Found: A Giant Bronze Arm From the Antikythera Shipwreck

The world’s most intriguing shipwreck keeps giving up more secrets.

Lend a hand.
Lend a hand. ARGO 2017

The Antikythera shipwreck is the archaeological discovery that keeps on giving. In the most recent expedition to explore the famous wreck, archaeologists from the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and Lund University in Sweden have uncovered fabulous pieces of bronze statuary, including this giant bronze arm, as The Guardian reports.

First discovered in 1900, the shipwreck is perhaps most famous for the Antikythera Mechanism, the mysterious, clock-like contraption that’s still puzzling scientists. But underwater archaeologists also uncovered incredible bronze statutes—a rare find—including the Antikythera Youth. (No dinglehoppers, though.)

Excavating the arm.
Excavating the arm. ARGO 2017

In antiquity, bronze statues were often melted down and the metal reused, so it’s rare to find examples of bronze art this old. Since these sunk to the bottom of the ocean, though, no one was able to cannibalize them for some other purpose, and they were preserved until today.

In 2014, archaeologists started a new project to more thoroughly excavate and explore the site. Last year, they turned up a skeleton of a person who went down with the ship; the results of DNA analysis revealing the person’s gender and age are forthcoming.

Gear or decorative object?
Gear or decorative object? ARGO 2017

This year, the team expanded the area they were working on and, using an underwater metal detector, located the remains of still more sculptures. According to the team, there are at least seven and perhaps nine sculptures hiding beneath boulders on the sea floor. They also found a bronze gear-like disc, that may either be part of the Antikythera Mechanism or a decorative badge.