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Images: High-tech Dives on an Ancient Wreck

Next week a multinational team will return to the site of the Antikythera shipwreck with a suite of modern diving and robotic technology to further explore the richest ancient wreck ever discovered. The team includes scientists from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports’s Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities (EUA), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and the Australian Centre for Marine Robotics, along with SEALs from the Hellenic Navy. (Courtesy of Brendan Foley, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
The Anitkythera shipwreck, named after the nearby the Greek isle, is located in an ancient high-traffic shipping lane at the crossroads of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. (Jack Cook, WHOI Graphic Services)
Previous excavations of the Antikythera shipwreck recovered life-size bronze and marble statues now housed in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. (National Archaeological Museum, Athens {K. Xenikakis}. Copyright Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports/Archaeological Receipts Fund.)
Half of this marble statue of a wrestler, recovered from the Antikythera wreck, was well-preserved by remaining buried in seafloor sediments. The other half, more exposed to seawater, suffered corrosion. (National Archaeological Museum, Athens {K. Xenikakis}. Copyright Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports/Archaeological Receipts Fund.)
In a 1901 exploration of the Antikythera wreck, divers recovered the head of this statue representing a philosopher, but not the rest of the staute. Divers also found a headless statue of Herakles (the Greek spelling for the Roman demigod Hercules). (National Archaeological Museum, Athens {K. Xenikakis}. Copyright Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports/Archaeological Receipts Fund.)
Previous excavations of the Antikythera shipwreck recovered artifacts, including luxury goods such as  these gold earrings with inset rubies and emeralds. (National Archaeological Museum, Athens {K. Xenikakis}. Copyright Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports/Archaeological Receipts Fund.)
Beautiful glassware like this bowl was also recovered from the Antikythera shipwreck. (National Archaeological Museum, Athens {K. Xenikakis}. Copyright Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports/Archaeological Receipts Fund.)
Small ceramic bottles known as unguentaria have been recovered from the Antikythera shipwrekc. These often contained perfume, powders, or cosmetics. By testing DNA preserved in unguentaria, scientists can glean information on the agriculture, products, and commerce in long-ago eras. (National Archaeological Museum, Athens {K. Xenikakis}. Copyright Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports/Archaeological Receipts Fund.)
This year's expedition to the Antikythera shipwreck marks the experimental debut of a new robotic diving apparatus for use in marine archaeology—the Exosuit. Theotokis Theodoulou of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities in Greece, and co-director of the Antikythera shipwreck expedition, tries out the Exosuit, which maintains atmospheric pressure inside the suit. The Exosuit allows divers to descend to 1,000 feet, far beyond the reach of SCUBA diving. (Alex DeCiccio ©Return to Antikythera, 2014)
Divers for the 2014 Anitkythera shipwreck expedition practice useing the Exosuit in training sessions at the dock at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. (Alex DeCiccio ©Return to Antikythera, 2014)
The co-directors of the Antikythera expedition, marine archaeologists Brendan Foley of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Theotokis Theodoulou and Dimitris Kourkoumelis of the Hellenic Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, have spent almost a decade experimenting with applying new diving and robotic technologies and approaches to study ancient shipwrecks. These include autonomous underwater vehicles, closed-circuit rebreathing gear, and diving propulsion vehicles. (Courtesy of Brendan Foley, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
The research team tested new diving technology at the Antikythera shipwreck site in 2012 and found several artifacts including this amphora, a ceramic jar used to store and transport goods. (Courtesy of Brendan Foley, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Divers recover an amphora during the 2012 expedition to the Antikythera shipwreck site. (Courtesy of Brendan Foley, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
During the 2012 expedition divers also found the stock of a ship anchor that might have beeen from a sister ship traveling in convoy with the Antikythera ship. They will look for this second ship during the 2014 expedition. (Courtesy of Brendan Foley, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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