Thursday, November 30, 2006

Antikythera Mechanism in the news again

New theories are put forward on the Antikythera Mechanism, but not surprisingly not everyone agrees on its function. The results of recent studies by an Anglo-Greek team published in the journal Nature show it could have been used to predict solar and lunar eclipses. I wonder what Derek Solla Price would say. As for me, (that's the other Derek) I like to believe, like some others, that it could have been used for teaching or navigation. Anyway, click on link for recent article.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Roman wreck thought to be big

The 1st century AD Roman wreck found (referred to in my last blog) is turning out to be even more generous with its information on ancient ships. The ship was carrying as many as 1,500 amphorae containing fish. The fish bones are well preserved and will provide important information on trade. The cargo probably also includes lead, and copper which the Romans mixed with tin to make bronze for a range of things, including plates and jewelry.
But even more importantly, it is estimated that the ship had a capacity of around 400 tons which is twice the size of any roman wreck found up to now, and confirms the thesis held by certain historians and archaeologists (including myself) that ships of a capacity of up to several hundred tons were being built at that time.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Roman wreck yields array of historical 'treasures'

The 1st century Roman shipwreck discovered off the coast of Valencia in Spain in 2000, but not excavated until very recently, is proving to be a maritime archaeologists' 'bijou'. The ship was apparently transporting jars of garum from Spain to Rome when she sunk in a storm. She is relatively well-preserved and lies in only 25 metres allowing easy access and therefore a promising study. We await more details ...