“Back to Antikythera” is the new marine research project organized by The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) in Massachusetts, in partnership with the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities.
The project aims to explore an area where, more than 2,000 years ago, a ship sank carrying treasures and works of art.
Team members are using a new underwater diving suit called the Exosuit that enables divers to descend to more that 300 meters underwater and stay there for hours without having to decompress on the way back to the surface. The 240 kilo Exosuit features 1.6 horsepower, foot-controlled thrusters and 18 rotary joints in the arms and legs to provide freedom of movement.
In fact, Theotokis Theodoulou, a marine archeologist with the programme said it wasn’t really a suit at all: “Although the Exosuit looks like a space suit and probably a very complex one, in reality it’s quite simple. It is not about diving any more. We are actually wearing and driving a submarine.”
The most famous item recovered from the shipwreck is the Antikythera Mechanism, which is now in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. It is thought to have been built in around 100 BC, making it the world’s oldest calculator. However, the sea had more treasures to reveal. Archaeologists hope that this mission will lead to more excavations of ancient shipwrecks. After all, the Greek sea is the largest unexplored museum in Europe.