The 2,200-year-old Antikythera shipwreck was first discovered by Greek sponge divers in 1900. The site would eventually yield the most significant collection of Greek antiquities in history including bronze and marble statues, jewelry, furniture, luxury glassware, and the surprisingly complex Antikythera Mechanism. Diving was suspended on the 55-meter site after one diver died and two were paralyzed from the effects of decompression illness. Ever since, archaeologists and historians have speculated about what ancient treasures were left buried beneath the seafloor.
In the September of 2014 a team of international archaeologists and technical divers returned to the treacherous site for a project called “Return to Antikythera”. Using state-of-the-art technology they made a series of discoveries that prove much of the ship’s cargo is indeed still preserved beneath the sediment.
The shipwreck dates from 70 to 60 BC and is thought to have been carrying a luxury shipment of Greek riches from the coast of Asia Minor west to Rome. The team plans to return next year to excavate the site and recover more of the ship’s precious cargo on behalf of the Hellenic Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities.
As the Deputy Chief and Photographer for the National Park Service (NPS) Submerged Resources Center (SRC), Brett Seymour has been photographing the underwater world in America’s most captivating national parks for the past two decades. In addition to making a whole new dimension of the NPS available to the public, Brett specializes in documented historically significant shipwrecks and WWII relics around the world. To view more of Brett’s photographic work documenting the underwater world (among other expeditions), please visit his website.