Spooky skeleton found on 2,000-year-old shipwreck

Spooky skeleton found on 2,000-year-old shipwreck

Prepare to be spooked: Mr. Bones was found on a ship buried at the bottom of the sea many years ago.

It’s not Halloween yet, but scientists have made a super spooky discovery at the bottom of the sea on an ancient shipwreck: a preserved skeleton. An international research team discovered the skeleton during the excavation of the Antikythera Shipwreck, which dates back to 65 B.C.

The shipwreck is located off the Mediterranean island of Antikythera in Greece. The skeleton is believed to have belong to a man in his early 20s, and it was found in about 165 feet of water. It could hold vital clues to what caused this ship to sink 2,000 years ago, according to a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution statement.

So far, scientists have found a partial skull including a jaw and three teeth, as well as two arm bones, some rib fragments and two femurs. They were found on Aug. 31 on the second expedition of the season. Earlier, archaeologists had uncovered a bronze spear, gold jewelry and some glassware.

“Archaeologists study the human past through the objects our ancestors created,” said Brendan Foley, a marine archaeologist with WHOI. “With the Antikythera Shipwreck, we can now connect directly with this person who sailed and died aboard the Antikythera ship.”

The statement added: “The skeleton discovered on August 31, 2016, is the first to be recovered from an ancient shipwreck since the advent of DNA studies. Ancient DNA expert Dr. Hannes Schroeder of the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, hastened to Antikythera to view the remains. Once permission is obtained from the Greek authorities, samples will be sent to his laboratory for a full suite of analyses. If enough viable DNA is preserved in the bones, it may be possible to identify the ethnicity and geographic origin of the shipwreck victim.”



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