In Exhibitions

The Ship , the Treasures, & the Mechanism: The Antikythera Shipwreck Exhibition

Display replicating the atmospheric context in which the wreckage was found. Photo by Brittany Wade

Recently, I attended the Antikythera Shipwreck exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. The exhibition is set up in such a way as to see the ceramic pots, bronze/marble sculpture, glassware, and gold jewelry represented in the context with which they were found. The walls of the gallery were painted a deep blue with the ceramics  displayed on sand that covered the ground against a backdrop of scuba divers. The light effects played against the walls like waves further adding to the visual illusion of an underwater landscape. Sculptures were shown only half preserved to better convey the state in which they were found: crystalized in centuries of coral, sand, and sea salt.The exhibition was open and easy to walk through. In the first gallery, a large flat screen television played footage of the underwater excavations. This was my favorite component of the exhibit.

As you reach the end of the collection, the famous Antikythera Mechanism is proudly on display with a three-dimensional digital replica rotating behind it. This enables the visitors to understand the individual components that were found to the Mechanism as well as their intricate functions. A documentary is screened also in 3D within the display room of the Mechanism, detailing its findings in the shipwreck and the methods used to uncover its highly advanced utility.
The exhibition was originally supposed to run from April 2012-December 2013 but has been extended through June 2014. Pictures are allowed to be taken without flash and with one other odd rule forbidding visitors from posing in any way that imitates the sculptures. Silly, but should not dissuade anyone from experiencing the one of a kind collection of this wreckage and its treasures.
Bronze original of the Antikythera Youth found in the shipwreck

Bronze original of the famous Antikythera Youth found in the shipwreck. Photo by Brittany Wade

Sabrina Nieblas
Sabrina Nieblas is currently a student of the innovative MA in Heritage Management 2013. During her undergraduate career, she studied museum practices and public relations. Sabrina seeks to utilize her skill set in the expanding field of sustainable tourism, specifically in the region of Mesoamerica.

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