Divers

2000 years of rock history.

Μerciless but also forgiving environment. The same sea has always been there, holding a secret, lately revealing just its surface. Throughout the passing years, salty water has been acting similarly to Ariadne’s thread, providing a continuous and rock-solid link between us and ancient greek technology, despite our ignorance.

rock

Stathis Chantzis, 1878-1936

Free diving has been mastered since the time of Homer, as written in Iliad, with its recorded apogee in 1913. Symian sponge diver Stathis Chantzis dives at 88m and stays there working for a duration of 3:58 minutes, rescuing the anchor of the italian battleship “Regina Margherita”. Stathis Chantzis represents the soul of all those thousands “homo-delphinus” diving with a kampanelopetra, soon to be replaced by men in diving suits with external air supplies [1,2].

Stathis_Xatzis

Symian sponge divers make the discovery

It was then in fact sponge divers from Symi that chanced on the Antikythera shipwreck in 1900, whilst looking for seafood just before Easter (fasting period). They were on their way to Africa for sponges and had to make this lucky stop at Antikythera due to bad weather conditions. A year later, on the first ever organized underwater archaeology expedition, they discover and retrieve many artifacts from the area. This includes the Antikythera Mechanism, an astronomical calculator of ingenious design and unprecedented accuracy which was to change the history of science as we knew it. However, this archaeological expedition cost the life of one diver while two others were seriously injured from decompression sickness.

AK_dive

Further dives

Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his crew, make further attempts in 1953 and 1976 to resurrect more ancient items, together with greek divers on board of Calypso. A fish can be also seen in its everyday routine.

cousteau fish

In 2014, with the latest available piece of technology, the exosuit, divers still try… The story of this ancient technological gadget has been full of modern-era technology since its discovery in 1901.

exosuit

[1] Ο κατακτητής του απέραντου γαλάζιου, Ι. Δετοράκης (1996)
[2] Homo Delphinus, The Dolphin within Man, J. Mayol (2000)
[3] Original idea of this webpage by M. Skoulatos, Copyright ©2014, later found similarly at the website http://antikythera.whoi.edu/history/ (some pictures are in common). Myself being a diver, I was motivated to give respect to those people doing the original dives under extreme danger.

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