A team of underwater archeologists has found human remains in the ancient Roman shipwreck known as Antikythera, which has revealed to modernity secrets of the antique world. The finding of these remains could provide scientists with an enormous knowledge fo how people lived at that moment.
In 1900 sea divers discovered Aktikythera’s shipwrecks in Greece and with it some objects that have changed the world’s view of the ancient Roman world. From the site, archeologists have found statues, sculptures, and an old clock device that told time and stations, known as the Antikythera mechanism.
Since then, humankind has become fascinated with the secrets that Aktikythera’s shipwreck holds and by finding human remains, archeologists are hoping to discover a new set of mysteries of the ancient people that lived in 65 B.C.
Even though the remains have been under seawater for thousands of years, the team of researchers hopes to perform DNA testings on the bones to identify the subject’s diet and characteristics.
Ancient Roman’s remains
For decades history has thought us about ancient Rome, the fights, the wardrobe, the architecture, its culture, and behavior. But by finding these human remains science and history can give a clear look into the past.
The bones were found by Brendan Foley, who was diving into Antikythera’s shipwrecks for the first time on late August when a teammate saw something interesting on the soil.
“We found bones, we found a skull,” said Foley’s colleague.
Researchers rushed to the location and found bones buried in the ocean’s sand, almost 160 feet into the ground there was almost an entire human skeleton laying there. The first bones they identified where forearms, then the upper jaw, teeth, skull, femurs and pieces of ribs.
After finding the bones, the team called a DNA researcher from the Natural History Museum of Denmark, Hannes Schroeder, who specializes in ancient remains and DNA. Schroeder and the Denmark museum, are the only ones with the advanced technology that lets researchers study old bones.
“We knew this was the find of the decade regarding underwater archeology, we’re hoping that by the end of this year we’ll have the first DNA results from an ancient shipwreck victim,” said Foley, who is a research specialist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute to the NY Times.
The team of researchers asked Schroeder if the remains could be examined, since they had been exposed to all sorts of contaminations for thousands of years under the sea, besides salt water could eliminate DNA remains from bones.
Underwater archeologists removed the bones one by one in bags filled with sea water, to help them remain as they were under the sea. Schroeder seemed optimistic about studying the ancient bones.
As the Washington Post reports, initial evaluations on the bones lead researchers to believe the remains belong to an ancient Roman man, that died in the ship around his twenties.
The old bones have pieces of iron scattered around, which researchers think might be due to objects in the man’s pockets or the fact that he was a slave and was chained to something when the ship came down.
The team is hoping to initiate studies on the bones after the Greek government allows them to do so and the secrets that the ancient remains hold could change history’s view of ancient Rome.
Source: The New York Times