The Antikythera Wreck: Photos

The Antikythera Mechanism has been getting lots of coverage in the last few years, but there were many other items found in the Wreck, as shown in a fabulous exhibition on in Athens. Most of the major finds were sculptures, and the last coins found post-date Sulla, so they are now believed to have been being shipped to Italy in the decades after his sacking of Greece - a current thesis associates them with a triumph of Caesar.

The marble statues found were early first century BC copies of earlier works, but some of the bronzes seem to have been original works from earlier centuries. These sorts of wrecks - another is the Mahdia Wreck - are interesting, as they were clearly transporting sculptures, and these tended to be important types as well as originals.

The best known statue is the now fragmentary Antikythera Philosopher, created circa 230 BC:

I found this horse interesting - the display "reconstructs" how it was found, and it is a nice example of the technique used in piecing in sculpture. The line is quite clear between the area where the marble was more protected, probably by sand, and where the surface became more eroded:

Ditto, this figure:

Again, part of this 1st century BC Parian marble foot looks almost immaculate:

A bronze boxer's arm, over life size, 2nd to 1st BC (replica - the original was on loan), above; a second century BC foot in a sandal, and three 3rd century BC feet, below:

A Hermes of Richelieu Type, only part of the face in good condition:

 This pert little bottom was almost all that was preserved of this Apollo leaning on a Tripod:

Yes, this is a statue of Odysseus, and the best known example of the type was found at Sperlonga, although there are heads all over the place, and an even closer statue at Baiae. There is great debate about whether the Sperlonga Groups were original Roman works from the time of Tiberius, or a copies of Hellenistic groups, and the Antikythera Wreck certainly pushes back the date of the originals into the late Hellenistic period:

Another Homeric warrior, too badly preserved to be certain who this originally represented off the top of my head, although I suspect that it could be identified in relation to the Sperlonga figures. Maybe Achilles? It was part of a set of Homeric Heroes with the figures above and below:

This figure is generally identified as Aeneas, a Trojan prince, and 'ancestor' of the Julian family:

There were many more important statues found, as well as terracottas and small luxury good. I loved this glass lobed vessel, with lotus leaves, made around the time the ship set sale:

1 comment:

  1. By the coin dating, it appears possible that the Antikythera Mechanism could have been made or designed by Posidonius.


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