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Archaeology & History

Diving exosuit aids hunt for ancient computer

By T.K. Randall
June 6, 2014 · Comment icon 15 comments

A fragment of the original mechanism. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Marsyas
An advanced new diving suit will be worn by divers looking for more pieces of the Antikythera mechanism.
Discovered in a shipwreck at the beginning of the 20th century, the famous Antikythera device is thought to be an ancient analog computer that dates back more than 2,000 years. Its remarkable complexity for the time period has made it one of the most fascinating artifacts ever found.

Now divers are set to return to the wreck to look for more pieces using state of the art diving suits that enable complete freedom of movement even at depths of 300m.
The suits are fitted with clawed hands to make performing tasks on the sea floor easier and can also be remotely operated from the surface in the event that the wearer gets in to difficulties.

"It's basically a wearable submarine," said specialist Phil Short. "The pressure inside is no different from being in a submarine or in fresh air. We can go straight to the bottom, spend five hours there and come straight back to the surface with no decompression."

It isn't clear what, if anything, the team will discover in the wreck, but if the original Antikythera mechanism is anything to go by then there could still be a few surprises waiting to be found.

Source: French Tribune | Comments (15)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by pbarosso 10 years ago
its an ancient fishing reel. anyone can see that
Comment icon #7 Posted by Razer 10 years ago
Yes they have.There are no missing bits of the puzzle, but perhaps more mechanisms to be found There are missing bits, that is what they are going to look for.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Silent Trinity 10 years ago
Fascinating find! I really think we don't give our ancestors the credit they deserve sometimes. Be interesting to see the continuation of this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by keithisco 10 years ago
There are missing bits, that is what they are going to look for. This is what they will be looking for: Scientists are optimistic that the site will yield a second device like the Antikythera Mechanism, currently the centrepiece of an exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens until June 29, while a preliminary survey last year showed a wealth of artefacts scattered over an area of about 50 metres by 10 metres, as well as a second unknown shipwreck next to the one already found. http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/06/06/archaeology-to-enlist-robot-suit-to-scour-seabed-near-rom... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 10 years ago
If we find more complex machines dating back to that time period, what will that tell us about the advancement of ancient societies? It will tell us that people in the ancient world was just as clever as people today, unlike what the ancient alien crowd like to make us believe.
Comment icon #11 Posted by TheGreatBeliever 10 years ago
Would be so exciting if it was really extraterrestrial
Comment icon #12 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 10 years ago
Would be so exciting if it was really extraterrestrial Why would aliens, who are capable of interstellar travel, build a mechanical astronomical device ? This was most definately made by humans and, to me atleast, that makes it even more amazing.
Comment icon #13 Posted by HappyMonkey 10 years ago
If we find more complex machines dating back to that time period, what will that tell us about the advancement of ancient societies? If you want to be amazed about the technical prowess of ancient civilizations, read an actual history book. They're a bit dry and don't reference aliens of magic, but the ancient had many clever mechanics and tools that paved the groundwork for modern technology. The Greeks had mechanized sets for their plays, which I've always thought was really interesting.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Poltergeistnz 10 years ago
Well if the bluetooth is switched on then they should be easy to find! lol
Comment icon #15 Posted by Peter B 10 years ago
If we find more complex machines dating back to that time period, what will that tell us about the advancement of ancient societies? It seems unlikely to me that machines much more complex than the Antikythera Device will be found. As Sundew suggests, the ancients never had access to a reliable source of energy like electricity (the Baghdad Battery appears to be an isolated incident, assuming it isn't a modern forgery). What we can point to is a very narrow thread of high mechanical technology passing through Greek, Roman and Byzantine societies. It started in late Classical times, expanded th... [More]


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