“A shortcut.” That was the description given last week to a series of experiments held in Israel by a group of marine archaeologists and computer experts from universities in Rome and Florence. The task in which the Italians have been engaged, in cooperation with the Israel Antiquities Authority, is facilitating the discovery and mapping of archaeological finds spread out across the bottom of the sea – relatively fast and inexpensively.Offshore sites ranging from the Neolithic to the Fatimid periods could benefit from this device. Caesarea is a key site for exploration, but there are many more. This is a long, detailed article. It requires free registration with Haaretz for full access.
To that end, the Italians are developing the Archeosub – an autonomous underwater vehicle, or AUV, called Zeno. It’s a tiny unmanned submarine that will be able to discover, survey and monitor large areas of the seabed.
Local, week-long experiments with the Zeno were recently conducted in the ancient port of Caesarea and along Haifa’s southern coast, where the IAA is developing an underwater park. The site will eventually display anchors from various historical periods in a canyon at depths of 15 to 22 meters (49 to 72 feet), in their “natural environment.”
Past PaleoJudaica posts on maritime (or marine or underwater) archaeology are here, here, here, here, here and links, here, here, here, here, and here. Cross-file under Technology Watch.
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