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Researchers returning to the Antikythera shipwreck

Researchers are returning to the wreckage of the ancient Greek ship where the Antikythera device, an ancient computer, was found.

The largest item recovered was a huge lead anchor stock. It was lying on a semicircular object that might be a scupper pipe, used to drain water from the ship’s deck. If so, the ship may have gone down as she was sailing with the anchor stowed. The team also raised an intact storage jar (amphora), which matches those previously recovered from the wreck. DNA tests may reveal its original contents.

Most intriguing are dozens of irregular spherical objects sprinkled across the wreck site. They look like rocks but contain flecks of green, suggesting small bronze fragments, corroded and encrusted in sediment after thousands of years in the sea. This is just what the Antikythera mechanism looked like when it was discovered. Then again, they could be collections of ship’s nails.

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Story: Bruce Bower, ScienceNews | Photo: C. Lahaye, IRAMAT-CRP2A, U. Bordeaux 3

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