An exciting archaeological discovery recently emerged from the Mediterranean Sea after a meticulous underwater excavation and rescue intervention carried out off the coast of Agrigento in Sicily.

A team composed of the Subacquei Nucleus of the Carabinieri Command, responsible for the protection of submerged cultural heritage, the Superintendence of the Sea, and the Diving Group of BC Sicily successfully recovered what appear to be sculptural fragments belonging to the magnificent Temple of Zeus, an architectural gem of the ancient Greek city of Akragas (now Agrigento).

The Temple of Olympian Zeus in Agrigento is considered the most amazing and bizarre of all Greek temples, supported by 38 huge atlantes, some of which can be seen today lying on the ground.

Specifically, they extracted from the seabed a marble-carved piece representing the figure of a horse in a rearing position, a classic motif of Greek sculpture.

The discovery took place about 300 meters from the coast and at a depth of 9 meters, although this piece was already generically cataloged in the area.

It was the BC Sicily Subgroup, led by engineer Gaetano Lino, who conducted photogrammetric studies of the element in October, recognizing its potential value. After notifying the authorities, today they have successfully rescued the fragment after overcoming meteorological challenges.

It is a slab measuring 2 x 1.6 meters and 35 centimeters thick, carved in Proconnesian marble, which could be part of the temple frieze, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its study will provide new insights into this grand construction from the 5th century BC.

The discovery was made in the stretch of water off San Leone, not far from the mouth of the Akragas River.

Experts applaud the work of the Carabinieri divers who, with professional skill, have returned this piece of history to the archaeological site of Agrigento.



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