More than two centuries after the devastating shipwreck that sent the Parthenon Marbles to the bottom of the sea floor, marine archaeologists have recovered ancient treasures from the wreck of Lord Elgin’s ship, the Mentor, which was used to loot ancient artifacts.
The ship, which was carrying a cargo of 17 boxes of antiquities, sank in September 1802 after striking rocks off the island of Kythira.
Much of the ship’s cargo, including the Parthenon Marbles, was recovered in a salvage mission after its sinking and all twelve crew members were rescued at the time. However, many ancient artifacts remained on the seabed.
A mission in 2011 turned up nothing more from the Mentor wreckage, but subsequent maritime ventures in 2015 and 2016 successfully recovered three amphorae handles dating to the third century BCE, small stone vessels, and later a cache of ancient coins, jewels, statues, porcelain, and other objects.
The most recent mission, carried out between August 27 and September 15, was led by chief archaeologist Dimitris Kourkoumelis and a crew from Greece’s Euphorate for Underwater Antiquities. It involved cleaning the surviving parts of the ship as well as retrieving the movable objects from the wreck.
See some of the recovered treasure below in photos that were released by Greece’s Ministry of Culture.
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