Thursday, October 9, 2014

Historical Resources

There has been much written about the Antikythera shipwreck since its discovery by Greek sponge divers in 1900. With websites like the Return to Antikythera hosted by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project site, the information on the significance of the discovery has been well documented. One of the best documentaries I have seen was the PBS NOVA program called Ancient Computer available to view online. I have found the most thorough resource on the subject is the book Decoding the Heavens by Jo Marchant (I had the privilege of not only reading it on the expedition, but becoming friends with Jo while in Antikythera as well). Jo’s book takes the reader through the 1900 discovery, the 1901 artifact recovery by the Greek Government, the 1956 & ’67 Cousteau expeditions, and the obsession of the scientists to understand this amazing technology that rewrote history. With so much written about the historical significance of the mechanism, it was an honor to dive the site and (hopefully) contribute to the knowledge base of the current scholars. Also, the idea of being part of an expedition with the potential of uncovering artifacts of Greek antiquity wasn’t exactly a drawback. After delving into the history, in particular of the Antikythera Mechanism and the obsession of those studying it, I couldn’t help but wonder – would I too become obsessed with imaging this shipwreck and its treasures?

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