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Archaeology & History

'Byzantine iPad' discovered in shipwreck

By T.K. Randall
May 21, 2014 · Comment icon 17 comments

Ancient seafarers had their own iPad equivalents. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Dirk Vorderstrabe
The 1,200-year-old wooden notebook and tool was the ancient equivalent of a modern tablet computer.
The artifact was recovered by Turkish archaeologists during the excavation of a harbor site in Istanbul where 37 shipwrecks have been found. The site was once an important commercial port during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I in the late 4th century.
Once possessed by the ship's captain, the ancient wooden 'device' consists of five overlaid rectangular panels on which notes could be taken and a small sliding panel that contained a selection of small weights. It is likely that these would have been used to determine the value of items being traded by the vessel and that the captain would have kept the notebook on hand at all times.

The ship on which the object was found dates back to around the 9th century and is believed to have carried goods from Crimea to Kersonesos across the Black Sea.

Source: Live Science | Comments (17)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by MJNYC 10 years ago
LOL, you guys. iPads are the best. Did you all know that Steve Jobs thought of the iPad over 30 years ago?
Comment icon #9 Posted by Junior Chubb 10 years ago
LOL, you guys. iPads are the best. Did you all know that Steve Jobs thought of the iPad over 30 years ago? Took a bloody long time for him to get around to it though... Its a bold claim, a hand held touch screen wireless device had been the goal of many designers/manafucturers for many years, not just Steve jobs. BTW iPads are not the best, they are just the coolest
Comment icon #10 Posted by runekazter 10 years ago
sounds like they found an old clip board not an freaking ipad
Comment icon #11 Posted by Calibeliever 10 years ago
That is a neat little gizmo. A merchant's multi-tool. Very clever. The headline? Not so much.
Comment icon #12 Posted by DanAgaX300 10 years ago
This's got nothing on the Antikythera mechanism.. but still pretty neat.
Comment icon #13 Posted by ROGER 10 years ago
We had that in the late 60's !
Comment icon #14 Posted by chopmo 10 years ago
UM your headlines make my generation sound stupid. iPad? Seriously it's not hard to find a thesaurus... you are on the internet after all. It's happening more consistantly each week, it's troubling to think the UM homepage will be useless so to speak... spam filters shouldn't be needed to protect readers from dodgey headlines.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Gummug 10 years ago
No picture of it?! Rats! eta: Never mind, I was reading the article from the homepage and didn't see it, for some reason it shows it when you come here. *confused*
Comment icon #16 Posted by qxcontinuum 10 years ago
Why was compared to an iPad and not with a clipboard since that is what truly was ?
Comment icon #17 Posted by taniwha 10 years ago
Perhaps the headline should more correctly have read, "...'Byzantine iPad' Found in Ancient 'Nuclear Powered' Shipwreck!'


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