This article takes into account the biological colonisation of the marble statues of the famous shipwreck of Antikythera, a merchant ship dated to the first century BC and discovered in the 1900 off Point Glyphadia of the Greek Island of Antikythera. In particular, the study of the epilithic bioencrustations and the environmental interpretation of the benthic community were carried out to understand the underwater life of the statues. Bryozoans, serpulids, brachiopods, calcareous demosponges and red algae were the most abundant components of the community. Most of the identified species were sciaphilic and/or indicative of coralligenous and cave habitats, well suited to the dim light environment of the site (depth of 50–64 m, arrangement of the statues in piles or inside crevices or under boulders). The obtained data were useful to hypothesize the relationship of the artefacts with the marine environment. In particular, the state of preservation of the bioencrustations found on the statues and the presence of superimpositions indicated that colonisation episodes had happened in different time lapses, possibly very distant from each other, but within the same benthic environment.

Benthic Community Formation Processes of the Antikythera Shipwreck Statues Preserved in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens (Greece)

Sanfilippo, Rossana;Rosso, Antonietta
2019

Abstract

This article takes into account the biological colonisation of the marble statues of the famous shipwreck of Antikythera, a merchant ship dated to the first century BC and discovered in the 1900 off Point Glyphadia of the Greek Island of Antikythera. In particular, the study of the epilithic bioencrustations and the environmental interpretation of the benthic community were carried out to understand the underwater life of the statues. Bryozoans, serpulids, brachiopods, calcareous demosponges and red algae were the most abundant components of the community. Most of the identified species were sciaphilic and/or indicative of coralligenous and cave habitats, well suited to the dim light environment of the site (depth of 50–64 m, arrangement of the statues in piles or inside crevices or under boulders). The obtained data were useful to hypothesize the relationship of the artefacts with the marine environment. In particular, the state of preservation of the bioencrustations found on the statues and the presence of superimpositions indicated that colonisation episodes had happened in different time lapses, possibly very distant from each other, but within the same benthic environment.
Brachiopods; Bryozoans; Red algae; Serpulids; Site formation processes; Sponges; Underwater Cultural Heritage; Archeology (arts and humanities)
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/361356
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 7
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 6
social impact