Marble head believed to be the missing piece a 2,000-year-old headless statue of Hercules

The 2,000-year-old Roman shipwreck off the coast of Antikythera, a Greek island that held the oldest known analog computer has recently shared more treasures with the world.

A larger-than-life-size marble head of a bearded man was recently pulled from the depths and archaeologists say it could be the missing piece of the headless statue of ‘Hercules of Antikythera.’

The statue, which was found in 1901, resides in the National Archaeological Museum in Greece.

Also found in the sunken ship were two human teeth, which will be analyzed to hopefully reveal the individuals they belonged to.

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The 2,000-year-old Roman shipwreck off the coast of Antikythera, a Greek island that held the oldest known analog computer has recently shared more treasures with the world

‘Important information is expected to be extracted from two human teeth, discovered in a solid agglomerate of marine deposits together with fragments of copper, wood and other materials typical of a maritime disaster,’ the team, led by the Hellenic Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, said in the blog post.

‘Genetic and isotopic analysis of the teeth might be useful to deduce information on the genome and other characteristics relevant to the origin of the individuals they belonged to.’

The team also collected samples of sediments from the final resting place of the ship, allowing for a microanalysis that will lead to a better knowledge of the dimensions and precise position of the shipwreck.

‘Together with the ongoing artifacts analysis, the newly applicable microarachaeological practices will enhance the ability to precisely reconstruct the disposition of the wreckage and the conditions of the sinking of the ship sometime during the first half of the 1st century BC,’ the team shared in the post.

A larger-than-life-size marble head of a bearded man was recently pulled from the depths

A larger-than-life-size marble head of a bearded man was recently pulled from the depths

The marble head is so massive, the team needed to tether it in order to bring it to the surface

The marble head is so massive, the team needed to tether it in order to bring it to the surface

In 1901, divers looking for sponges off the coast of Antikythera, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, stumbled upon a Roman-era shipwreck that held the highly sophisticated astronomical calculator, or the oldest known analog computer.

The Antikythera Mechanism has since captivated the scientific community and the world with wonder, but has also sparked a more than century long investigation into how an ancient civilization fashioned such an incredible device.

The highly complex mechanism, made up of up to 40 bronze cogs and gears, was used in ancient times to track the cycles of the solar system.

The scans also revealed the mechanism was originally housed in a rectangular wooden frame with two doors, covered in instructions for its use.

At the front was a single dial showing the Greek zodiac and an Egyptian calendar.

Archaeologists say it could be the missing piece of the headless statue of 'Hercules of Antikythera.'

Archaeologists say it could be the missing piece of the headless statue of ‘Hercules of Antikythera.’

The marble head had deteriorated over the years, but experts hope to conduct a deeper analysis to prove it is the missing head of the Hercules statue

The marble head had deteriorated over the years, but experts hope to conduct a deeper analysis to prove it is the missing head of the Hercules statue

The Mechanism (pictured) was recovered from a Roman cargo shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera

The Mechanism (pictured) was recovered from a Roman cargo shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera

On the back were two further dials displaying information about lunar cycles and eclipses. The calculator would have been driven by a hand crank.

The device could track the movements of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – the only planets known at the time, the position of the sun, and the location and phases of the moon.

The researchers have been able to read all the month names on a 19-year calendar on the back of the mechanism.

Scientists have suggested that the mechanism might have been somehow linked to Archimedes, after a study found that language inscribed on the device.

The inscriptions suggested it had been manufactured in Corinth or in Syracuse, where Archimedes lived.

But Archimedes was killed in 212 B.C., while the ship carrying the device is believed to have sunk between 85 and 60 B.C.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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