Fish swim by and a sponge grows among amphora from a 4th century B.C. Greek merchant ship found in 200 feet of water off Chios in the Aegean Sea and photographed by SeaBED. (©Chios 2005 Shipwreck Survey: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities; and Hellenic Center for Marine Research)
Robots can do in days what humans take years to accomplish at archaeological sites
After lying hidden for centuries off the coast of Greece, a sunken 4th century B.C. merchant ship and its cargo have been surveyed by an international team using a robotic underwater vehicle. The team accomplished in two days what it would take divers years to do. The project, the first in a new collaboration between U.S. and Greek researchers, demonstrates the potential of new technology and imaging capabilities to rapidly advance marine archaeology.
Greek scientists and archaeologists discovered the ancient shipwreck in 2004 during a sonar survey. The wooden Greek merchant ship sank off Chios and Oinoussia islands in the eastern Aegean Sea in 60 meters (about 200 feet) of water, too deep for conventional SCUBA diving. The cargo of 400 ceramic jars, called amphoras, filled with wine and olive oil, are the most visible remains of the shipwreck.
Shelley Dawicki | EurekAlert!
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