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Fisherman nets ancient statue June 10, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece.

KalymnosLady.jpg Ancient bronze horseman and amphora fished from Greek seas

A Greek fisherman has handed over to authorities a large section of an ancient bronze statue brought up in his nets in the Aegean Sea. The treasures from ancient Greece were preserved for two millenia in the Aegean Sea.

The male torso was located last week near the eastern Aegean island of Kalymnos, the  Ministry of Culture announced.

The one-meter (3-foot) high find belonged to a statue of a horseback soldier, and would have been part of the cargo of an ancient ship that sank in the area. It was taken to Athens to be cleaned and dated.

Together with the torso, the fisherman brought up two small bronze pieces believed to belong to the statue, and a wine-jar from the ancient city of Knidos – in what is now Turkey – dating from the first century B.C, the ministry said.

The seas around Kalymnos are rich in ancient wrecks and have yielded several impressive finds in recent years, including a large female statue now exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. The fisherman who netted it in 1995 earned a euro440,000 (US$558,000) reward from the Ministry of Culture.

Other scattered pieces of bronze statues found in the area include a head, legs and arms, but it is unclear whether these could match the horseman's torso. 

Greece, as part of a program to recuperate and preserve ancient artifacts, offers treasure finders a reward worth 10 percent of the object's value to return it to state authorities.

The Kalymnos find includes the fully intact amphora and several fragments of a bronze statue, the largest of which is a 95-centimeter (37-inch) bust of the rider which is heavily covered in marine organisms, the Ministry said.

Another Kalymnos fisherman made a priceless haul in 1994 when he unfurled his nets to discover a bronze statue now known as the "Lady from Kalymnos".

The piece, now found in the National Archeological Museum in Athens, dates from ancient Greece's Hellenistic period, which began roughly with the reign of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC and ended some three centuries later.

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