back to article 2,000 year old man found dead near 2,000 year old computer

The ancient shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera has already yielded up archeological wonders but now marine archeologists have found a body buried in the wreck that could yield up some clues as to the ship’s origins. The shipwreck, one of the largest found from the ancient world, was discovered in 1900 and is best …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Found with

    various articles though to be associated with beard maintenance.

  2. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Navigation error - core dump blues

    Poor chap. All he said was 'Have you tried switching it off then switching it back on again', just before they hit the reef.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Navigation error - core dump blues

      Didn't the inscriptions on the machine also have hints about giving the device a bump if the gears got stuck? Maybe this guy was already one who never RTFM...

    2. Jedit

      Re: Navigation error - core dump blues

      I'm not sure he got that far before getting a Blue Sea of Death error.

      1. sniperpaddy
        Thumb Up

        Re: Navigation error - core dump blues

        brilliant.

    3. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Navigation error - core dump blues

      Poor chap died of a heart attack after he got the invoice for the license for the device from the Oracle of Antikythera.

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Alien

    Any black oil attacks being reported yet?

    have claimed the Antikythera mechanism was of extraterrestrial origin

    I hate this self-hating shit. It's like claiming that only Sun People can be the source of good love and rythmic music and we need wild foreigners to learn how to commune with nature/the universe/leftover marmelade in the fridge.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Any black oil attacks being reported yet?

      These people are genuinely so stupid as to not realise that they would be the first people to line up with pitchforks and torches if they ever met anyone clever enough to think up something like this. They are the very people who stop progress in its tracks.

    2. Sven Coenye

      Re: Any black oil attacks being reported yet?

      "only Sun People can be the source of good love and rythmic music"

      They may have been at one time, but since the Oracle take-over ...

    3. Jim Birch

      Re: Any black oil attacks being reported yet?

      It's still hard to work out why ETs would traverse interstellar distances using space technology way more advanced than ours then resorted to a clunky inaccurate mechanical device that incorporates inadequacies in Greek astronomical theory to determine planet positions. But who knows, maybe they were so busy building starships that they forgot to invent the pocket calculator.

      If the bones turn out to be extraterrestrial then there's a case for the mechanism being ET too. Otherwise, maybe not.

    4. Brian Miller

      Re: Any black oil attacks being reported yet?

      "Aliens made it!"

      As if aliens, who have journeyed from another star system, would bother making a bunch of lame gears for some semi-evolved simian.

      Hero of Alexandria invented the vending machine 150 years before the computer was made. So, really, is the Antikythera mechanism really that astounding? What's really astounding is none of this did that much to move their society forward. Hero also invented the aeolipile, a type of steam turbine. Did he rig it up to do any work, or did he just do a demo?

      Perhaps the state of metallurgy was too primitive for general-purpose steam engines. Hard to say.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Any burns on the remains?

    If so, might be evidence of an early Samsung.

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Meh

    There is a simpler explanation

    Keep in mind that knowledge is power. And the ability to predict things this mechanism granted it's operator were considerable.

    So how about early prototype of something which would have changed the world lost at sea, possibly with it's developers? With the knowledge of how it worked and how to make it lost at the same time.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      1. Fink-Nottle

        Re: There is a simpler explanation

        Conteporary writings describe the device as "amazing", "inspiring" and "beautifully responsive"; the shipwreck was clearly a result of a user holding it wrong.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There is a simpler explanation

          Do not use Antikythera Go whilst driving.

    2. Mutton Jeff

      Re: There is a simpler explanation

      Nah, lack of headphone jack, must be Apple.

  6. MrDamage

    Finding DNA could tell archeologists more about the ship and where it came from.

    Really? If it truly was hauling the plunder of a Roman general, then the DNA from the body won't prove a thing.

    The legions were crammed full of diverse nationalities from regions either conquered, or settled.

    There is just as much chance of the DNA resolving to eastern European, sub-saharan Africa, British Isles, or anywhere in between.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Finding DNA could tell archeologists more about the ship and where it came from.

      It can put a lower bound on the age of the mechanism, since it must be at least as old as this guy. While DNA won't be conclusive, it will provide some clues.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Finding DNA could tell archeologists more about the ship and where it came from.

      No, if it was from the 1st century BC the Roman Republic (it wasn't an Empire yet...) was still smaller. Cesar didn't conquer Gaul yet (nor landed in Britain), but after the Punic Wars the Iberic Peninsula and the coasts of North Africa were already part of the Republic. IMHO there's a good chance sailors at the time came from the conquered marine settlements, both Italian, Greek or Carthaginians. Still, DNA can tell something about the ship crew and thereby from where it came from.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Finding DNA could tell archeologists more about the ship and where it came from.

        Probably not - Cornwall had been exporting tin via the sea for possibly 2000 years already by this time and I'd put good money on there being a considerable number of itinerant traders from all around the Med by the time this went down. Wood might help tell where the ship came from but we need a lot more DNA from shipwreck victims to see if the traders were not perhaps from all over the place. After all in those days I can easily imagine crew dying on trips and needing replacing on a regular basis from wherever the boats ended up - and people being hell bent on getting out of town too!

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Finding DNA could tell archeologists more about the ship and where it came from.

          Alternatively, we find out he was the ship's engineer, who repeatedly told the captain "Ye cannae change the laws of physics!"

      2. Chris Evans

        Re: Finding DNA could tell archeologists more about the ship and where it came from.

        "Still, DNA can tell something about the ship crew and thereby from where it came from."

        Not quite, it hopefully will give where that particular individual came from. Whilst probably a crew member that is not a certainty. But it would be a significant part of a big jigsaw.

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge

        @LDS --- Re: Finding DNA could tell archeologists more about the ship and where it came from.

        Still, DNA can tell something about the ship crew and thereby from where it came from.

        Given the ways ships and crews, all the DNA will tell us is about this one person. Passenger? Crew? Freeman? Slave? Who knows but if we look to history, ships crews were seldom all from the same country nor even the same race.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Finding DNA could tell archeologists more about the ship and where it came from.

      They will find it matches Jeremy Corbyn's, exactly.

    4. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Finding DNA could tell archeologists more about the ship and where it came from.

      I think the origin of remains is usually determined by analysis of minerals in the teeth, rather than DNA. I have to confess that my knowledge of archaeology is largely derived from episodes of Time Team.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Finding DNA could tell archeologists more about the ship and where it came from.

        > origin of remains is usually determined by analysis of minerals in the teeth, rather than DNA

        Having either will give you indications of origin (the minerals will give you where the person was born and information about their diet) whereas the DNA will give you indication as to their familial origin. So, for example, it's entirely possible that the DNA might give a north African haplopype but that the minerals info will mean the person was born in Italy.

        With the two bits you can have a fair stab at working out the background involved (with some error weasel-words).

        (Not a professional archeologist but I have watched a fair few programmes about it and have a number of friends and colleages who are or were bonediggers)

  7. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Coat

    Found nearby

    a fairly well-preserved antique telephone. Its connection was traced to a dank cellar underneath the Pharos lighthouse, in which a predecessor to the Revox A77 was found looping the message 'έχετε δοκιμάσει την απενεργοποίηση και ξανά?'

  8. AceRimmer1980
    WTF?

    Γεια σου, φαίνεται σαν να προσπαθείτε να πλεύσει το πλοίο

    When the Mykonosoft salesman told the crew the price of the support contract, they made him walk the plank.

    1. Michael Hoffmann
      Happy

      Re: Γεια σου, φαίνεται σαν να προσπαθείτε να πλεύσει το πλοίο

      Θα θέλατε να βοηθήσει με αυτό;

      (or that's what Google Translate says)

  9. Britt
    Trollface

    Obligitory

    Still waiting for IE to load....

  10. kryptonaut
    Boffin

    Physics 101 BCE

    The ship was sunk by a massive explosion caused when the Antikythera Device was brought too close to the (as yet unrecovered) Kythera Device.

  11. AndrueC Silver badge
    Joke

    "Getting Windows ready. Don't turn off your computer"

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Εγκατάσταση των Αντικυθήρων 10

      Η συσκευή σας θα κάνει επανεκκίνηση αρκετές φορές. Αυτό μπορεί να πάρει λίγο χρόνο.

      4% πλήρης.

  12. kain preacher Silver badge

    He was on hold with tech support, now he will lose his place in line.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Not in the BOFH's queue. In fact he is a star member.

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Was he a type 2a or a type 2b?

  13. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Narf

    It opened a portal to the Dungeon Dimensions and a heavy bugger was the first on board the ship, which promptly sank

    Said bugger managed to get back to the Dungeon Dimensions before the portal collapsed.

  14. WonkoTheSane
    Alien

    "have claimed the Antikythera mechanism was of extraterrestrial origin"

    Giorgio Tsoukalous is incorrect. The mechanism is not "Alien", it's obviously Atlantean!

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: "have claimed the Antikythera mechanism was of extraterrestrial origin"

      Can't be. If you accept Plato made an infamous factor of ten translation error then Atlanean civilisation was the Minoan empire, and Atlantis was Santorini, which was blown to bits by a volcanic eruption before the volcano sunk into the ocean.

      That was about 1500BCE though, and this is 200BC so it's unlikely the device is Minoan/Atlantean in origin.

      Santorini/Atlantis might also be the original story behind the ten plauges of egypt; three days of darkness caused by a mini nuclear winter, flying debris from a multi gigaton explosion (fire and hail) massive growth of populations of red algae (rivers of blood), the fish dying as they couldn't breathe in the water, insects feeding on the dead fish leading to huge plagues of insects, which in turn led to a plague of frogs as their population grew, finished off with a plague of locusts. Even the boils are accountable for (Take handfuls of soot from a furnace and have Moses toss it into the air in the presence of Pharaoh. It will become fine dust over the whole land of Egypt) as volcanic ash landing over the entire of Egypt.

      1. Graham Cunningham

        Re: "have claimed the Antikythera mechanism was of extraterrestrial origin"

        "That was about 1500BCE though, and this is 200BC so it's unlikely the device is Minoan/Atlantean in origin."

        No, the author stated that this was the first century before Christ. I assume the last century before Christ was about 2100 to 2000 years ago, but the first century before Christ must have been a lot longer ago than even your 1500BCE, right?

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: "have claimed the Antikythera mechanism was of extraterrestrial origin"

          The Antikythera mechanism is ~100BC to ~200BC, nobody knows precisely but this is 200BC, 2216 years ago.

          1500BC is 3516 years from 2016AD so ~1300 years prior to 200BC. Dates run backwards from 1BC rather than forwards, as in AD.

  15. Egghead & Boffin

    Man, those old compilers were slow !

    1. Colin Critch

      May be the blue circle of life wasting was around before windows...

    2. jobst

      not necessarily - it just depends how fast you turns those wheels.

  16. RNixon

    They just need to RTFM.

    I always figured the Voynich Manuscript was the documentation for the Antikythera Mechanism.

  17. energystar
    Pirate

    Still trying to break open those fingers from the Antikythera [TM] computer...

  18. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Obviously

    a salesperson from Ithaka Business Machines ...

  19. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    I used to work with that guy.

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