When I was a teenager, I was a big fan of a TV series and a book entitled “Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World”. I think Arthur only lent his name to it – he made brief cameos at the beginning and end of the episode. The focus of the series was genuine unexplained phenomena as opposed to paranormal guff. Stories included the Baghdad battery, cryptozoology, ball lightning and those crazy Central American crystal skulls. O.K., that last is dubious.
One of my favourites was the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical computer found in a Greek shipwreck. Today in Wikipedia, I discovered that it’s been subjected recently to an X-ray imaging technique which has allowed 95% of the text on the mechanism to be deciphered. And the results? Are to be announced later this year.
What is it with archaeologists as compared to, say, the open-access rapid publication philosophy of bioinformaticians? I want to know now!