Archaeologists to Probe Antikythera Shipwreck with Hi-Tech Diving Suit

Archaeology news


Antikythera Shipwreck project codirector Theotokis Theodoulou trains in the Exosuit at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Photo: Alex Deciccio.

Maritime archaeologists will be returning to the Greek island of Antikythera this month to investigate the Antikythera Shipwreck—aided by a futuristic diving system called the Exosuit.

Created by the undersea tech company Nuytco, the $1.5 million Exosuit has been in development for years. The submarine-like aluminum-alloy suit will allow researchers to dive 1,000 feet and stay at that depth for hours without having to decompress as they come back up. The project, spearheaded by researchers from the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, aims to map the first-century B.C.E. shipwreck with stereocameras, sonar, metal detectors and robots. The Exosuit itself is equipped with a propulsion system, precise grippers, LEDs, rotatable joints and HD cameras.

Discovered by Greek sponge divers in 1900, the Antikythera Shipwreck has yielded invaluable treasures, including hundreds of statues and an extraordinary device designed to track astronomical phenomena (the object is now known as the Antikythera Mechanism). Pioneering undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau and his crew examined the shipwreck for several weeks in 1976. The international team now studying the wreck represents the first systematic investigation of the Antikythera Shipwreck since its discovery over a century ago.

Read more on the Antikythera Shipwreck project website and in the New York Times.

Interested in the latest archaeological technology? Researchers at the UCSD’s Calit2 laboratory recently released the free BAS eBook Cyber-Archaeology in the Holy Land — The Future of the Past, featuring the latest research on GPS, Light Detection and Ranging Laser Scanning, unmanned aerial drones, 3D artifact scans, CAVE visualization environments and much more.


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