Ancient information science

Archaeologists and computer scientists from the universities of Glasgow, Leicester and Exeter are collaborating to study how the ancients transferred information by analyzing the development of widely-used consumables like pottery and coins.

The project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, will combine archaeology, archaeological science and computer science to investigate Greek, Punic and other civilisations, from the late Bronze age through to classical times.

Prof Peter Van Dommelen, from the University of Glasgow, said: “By tracing the development of techniques and technologies used to create specific objects we will see how the developments crossed temporal, geographical and cultural boundaries.

The researchers hope this analysis will help computer scientists develop more effective and reliable means of transmitting and upgrading information.

It’s sort of like a reverse NASA: instead of inventing new things for space exploration which end up used in a myriad mundane consumer applications, use the ancient mundane to create more advanced computers.

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