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News: Italy
The statuette of the goddess Aphrodite discovered on the seabed off Taranto in Southern Italy. Photo Credit: ANSA/TANN.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

Ancient Greek Aphrodite statuette discovered underwater

Off the coast of Southern Italy

Authorities in Italy have announced the discovery of an ancient Greek statuette underwater off the coast of Southern Italy.  The announcement was made at a press conference in the town of Taranto. The item was found off Cape San Vito at a depth of 15 metres.

The statuette is 80cm tall and portrays the goddess Aphrodite. She is probably leaning against a now lost pillar and is removing her sandal, while holding something in her other hand, perhaps an apple or a ball of makeup. The artefact was inspired by a famous statue of the Hellenistic period which had been copied many times after its initial construction, although the exact original is a matter of dispute among scientists. Perhaps the copies were made after a late 3rd century BC bronze statue by Polymachos, although there are others who believe that it was created in a workshop in Alexandria.

The statuette was discovered by a diver and is not part of a shipwreck as it had been reported. The diver who found the statue says he also spotted a vase nearby, so further exploration of the area is planned to search for more antiquities.