This excavation at the historic Mentor shipwreck at Avlemonas in Kythira carried out by the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities under the direction of archaeologist Dr. Dimitris Kourkoumelis, is over for this year, according to an official announcement issued by the Greek Ministry of Culture on Tuesday.
“Mentor” belonged to Lord Elgin and it sank after crashing into rocks out of the port of Avlemon in September 1802 in southeastern Kythira. The brig was transporting 17 boxes containing part of the antiquities Lord Elgin’s team had removed from the Parthenon, the Acropolis and other Athens monuments, the Ministry of Culture noted.
This year’s underwater excavations included a 12-member team directed by archaeologist Dimitris Kourkoumelis of the Underwater Antiquities Department. Work focused on cleaning away the surviving section of the hull, and photos were put together to provide a view of the entire area and the wreck’s state. Some of the ship’s parts were spread over the area by the efforts of the crew to raise the boxes with the antiquities.
Findings included a cooking vessel, a gold ring with intricate flower depictions, a pair of gold earrings, fragments of a pair of calipers, a fragment of an ancient Rhodian amphora handle with a seal impression with the inscription “Antimachou” (“belonging to Antimachos”), three chess pieces (added to four found at previous excavation seasons), various items of bone or wood, and at least ten pulleys and accessories, some of them still preserving the sail-securing ropes.
Besides archaeologists, the team included marine biologists, conservators, divers, technicians specializing in marine environments and craftsmen.
SOURCES: ERT, AMNA.