Finding the face of Hercules, missing 2000 years ago
In an important archaeological discovery, archaeologists have recovered the head of the statue of Hercules from a Roman-era shipwreck in the Mediterranean.
Archaeologist and excavation leader Lorenz Bommer, of the University of Geneva, said: 'It was found, along with many other objects, in an area that was covered by several tons of rock that fell on the site during an earthquake of an unknown date. We managed to get to that area by removing rocks with the help of an advanced lifting system.
Bomer added: "The ship carried a huge shipment - among other things - a large number of statues made of marble and bronze.
In the first century BC, wealthy Romans requested sculptures in their private gardens.
It was delivered by ship to Rome or other destinations.
The ship was heading west - because the material is from the eastern Mediterranean - probably to Rome, but we have no evidence of that at the present time.
The sinking may have been caused by a storm, but we hope to get clearer information from our research.
We can only say that it was definitely an expensive sculpture."
The researchers' next step will be to establish that the head does indeed belong to a beheading sculpture at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Regardless, the team is pretty sure the head was carved to depict Hercules.
According to "Express" and "RT".
"Hercules has a clear iconography, with his beard, the distinctive shapes of his face and hair, etc. We know of a few Roman copies of the original statue created by the Greek sculptor Lysippus in the fourth century BC, although the original has not been preserved," Bomer said.
According to Professor Bomer, their investigations into the Antikythera wreck were motivated by a desire to learn more about the ship's history.
The wreck was first discovered by a crew of sponge divers from the Greek island of Symi, who had stopped in Antikythera to wait for more favorable winds on their way to North Africa.
The artifact was found 148 feet below sea level, with the Greek Navy drafting it shortly after the initial finds to aid in the rescue effort.
The wreck has been explored several times since then, including by the famous French naval officer and diving master Jacques Cousteau.
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