2000-year-old statue of Greek athlete sheds light on metal corrosion

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Washington, July 9 (ANI): The restoration of a 2,000-year-old bronze sculpture of the famed ancient Greek athlete Apoxyomenos may help modern scientists understand how to prevent metal corrosion, discover the safest ways to permanently store nuclear waste, and understand other perplexing problems.

That's the conclusion of a new study on the so-called "biomineralization" of Apoxyomenos.

Best known as "The Scraper," the statue depicts an athlete scraping sweat and dust from his body with a small curved instrument.

Scientist Davorin Medakovic and his team point out that Apoxyomenos was discovered in 1998 on floor of the Adriatic Sea.

While the discovery was a bonanza for archaeologists and art historians, it also proved to be an unexpected boon to scientists trying to understand biomineralization.

Biomineralization is the process in which animals and plants use minerals from their surroundings and form shells and bone.

Apoxyomenos was encrusted with such deposits.

"As studies of long-term biofouled manmade structures are limited, the finding of an ancient sculpture immersed for two millennia in the sea provided a unique opportunity to probe the long-term impact of a specific artificial substrate on biomineralizng organisms and the effects of biocorrosion," according to the researchers.y evaluating the mineral layers and fossilized organisms on the statue, the researchers were able to evaluate how underwater fouling organisms and communities interacted with the statue as well as how certain mineral deposits on the bronze sculpture slowed its deterioration. (ANI)

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