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Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:14 PM

Famed Roman shipwreck reveals more secrets (more "Antikythera Mechanisms" a real possibility!) [View all]

For those of you with a love of history this is pretty interesting. The most complex known mechanism of ancient times came from a shipwreck that, it ends up, was twice as big as thought leaving half of it untouched!

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/01/03/antikythera-shipwreck-survey/1804353/

The October survey shows the ship was more than 160 feet long, twice as long as expected. Salvaged by the Greek Navy and skin divers in 1901, its stern perched too deep for its original skin-diver discoverers to find.

The wreck is best known for yielding a bronze astronomical calculator, the "Antikythera Mechanism" widely seen as the most complex device known from antiquity, along with dozens of marble and bronze statues. The mechanism apparently used 37 gear wheels, a technology reinvented a millennium later, to create a lunar calendar and predict the motion of the planets, which was important knowledge for casting horoscopes and planning festivals in the superstitious ancient world.

Along with vase-like amphora vessels, pottery shards and roof tiles, Foley says that the wreck also appears to have "dozens" of calcified objects resembling compacted boulders made out of hardened sand resting atop the amphora on the sea bottom. Those boulders resemble the Antikythera mechanism before its recovery and restoration. In 2006, an X-ray tomography team reported that the mechanism contained at least 30 hand-cut bronze gears re-creating astronomical cycles useful in horoscopes and timing of the Olympic Games in the ancient world, the most elaborate mechanical device known from antiquity until the Middle Ages. "The (objects) may just be collections of bronze nails, but we won't know until someone takes a look at them," Foley says.

?w=500&h=667
The Antikythera Philosopher. One of the statues found in the first half of the wreck.
Also from the wreck is this handsome fellow:

More to follow??

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Reply Famed Roman shipwreck reveals more secrets (more "Antikythera Mechanisms" a real possibility!) [View all]
DonRedwood Jan 2013 OP
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