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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 04 October 2014
18 SATURDAY 4 OCTOBER 2014 The chosen one - Georgia Metaxas, Untitled, from the series The Mourners, 2011. Archaeologists set out earlier this week to use a revolutionary new deep sea diving suit to explore the ancient shipwreck where one of the most remarkable scientific objects of antiquity was found. The so-called Antikythera Mechanism, a 2nd-century BC device known as the world's oldest computer, was discovered by sponge divers in 1900 off a remote Greek island in the Aegean. The highly complex mechanism of up to 40 bronze cogs and gears was used by the ancient Greeks to track the cycles of the solar system. It took another 1,500 years for an astrological clock of similar sophistication to be made in Europe. Now archaeologists returning to the wreck will be able to use a new diving suit which will allow them to dive at more than double the depth, and stay safely at the bottom for longer. The Exosuit, built in Canada by Nuytco Research, will permit divers to reach depths of 150 metres (492 feet) and still perform delicate tasks, archaeologist Theotokis Theodoulou told AFP as the team set off for a month-long expedition to Antikythera, between Crete and the Peloponnese. "I'll be able to grasp, pluck, clench and dig... for several hours," he said. Archaeologists believe many other artefacts are yet to be discovered in and around the wreck. Up to now they had only been able to operate at a depth of 60 metres. The mechanism was found with a spectacular bronze statue of a youth in the wreck of a cargo ship apparently carrying booty to Rome, and researchers are certain that other items on board still remain to be discovered. "We have good signs that there are other objects present," said Angeliki Simosi, head of Greece's directorate of underwater antiquities, after exploratory dives in the area in 2012 and 2013. The archaeologists also hope to confirm the presence of a second ship, some 250 metres away from the original discovery site. The Greek team is assisted by Brendan Foley, a marine archaeologist from the renowned Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution at Massachusetts, which was involved in a dive to the wreck of the Titanic. "We may find one or more monumental statues that were left behind in 1901, in the mistaken belief that they were rocks," Foley said. As well as the new Exosuit, the Antikythera expedition will also use robot mapping equipment and new advanced closed-circuit ‘rebreathers’, which will allow divers much more time underwater. Antikythera, which now has a population of only 44, was on one of antiquity's busiest trade routes, and a base for Cilician pirates, some of whom once captured and held the young Julius Caesar for ransom. Source: AFP Divers return to ‘Antikythera Mechanism’ shipwreck The ‘Antikythera Mechanism’, an ancient analogue computer, was designed to predict astronomical positions and eclipses. Archaeologists returning to the wreck in a new diving suit will be able to dive at more than twice the depth, and stay safely at the bottom for longer The Exosuit, a one-of-a-kind diving robot exoskeleton, capable of submerging to the depth of 1,000 feet. Featuring a collection of paintings inspired by Greek mythology, the solo exhibition ‘Mysticism’ by Greek Australian painter Diamando Koutsellis will be hosted at the Arthouse Hotel, in Sydney, from 6 October to 7 November. Koutsellis' investigation into Greek mythology looks at how ancient mythology can still be relevant in contemporary society. "The mythology speaks of wins and losses, pains and joys and moments of change and transformation, all of which can lead to personal growth," the artist says. "The meanings have to do with knowledge, wisdom, technology and the willingness to explore the unknown." Diamando Koutsellis is a Sydney based multidisciplinary artist who works with paint, ceramic sculpture, public and community art. She has worked extensively abroad and across Australia for over twenty years. The exhibition is on from 6 October to 7 November, at the Arthouse Hotel, 275 Pitt Street, Sydney. For more information, contact (02) 9284 1200. Greek mythology on display in Sydney Athena, oil on canvas. The new collection of paintings by artist Diamando Koutsellis will be showcased at the Arthouse Hotel Medusa, oil on canvas.
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