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Amazing findings from Lord Elgin’s shipwreck “Mentor”

Archaeologists and divers have brought into light amazing findings from the historic shipwreck “Mentor. By order of Lord Elgin, the brig that was carrying stolen goods from the Acropolis and Athens monument to Great Britain. It sunk off the island of Kythira in south Peloponnese in September 1802.

Salvage work on the shipwreck of “Mentor” wrapped up another season recently with small finds including sections of the sail pulleys, the Greek Ministry of Culture said on Tuesday.

The brig sank after crashing into rocks out of the port of Avlemon in September 1802.

It was  carrying 17 boxes of antiquities from various monuments of Athens including the Acropolis, removed by Lord Elgin and his workers, who retrieved all boxes soon after the Mentor sank.

This year’s underwater excavations (Aug. 27-Sept. 15) 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 stitched 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.

Also found are 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.

The 2019 season was supported by the Ministry of Culture, the Ilios Shipping Company, and Stathis Trifyllis, the ministry said in a statement.

Findings on Mentor in 2018 and the fate of brig “Mentor”

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