Titanic discoverer called to find lost sarcophagus

From the Times Online: Titanic discoverer Robert Ballard called to find lost sarcophagus.

It has been a source of enduring fascination for archaeologists and amateur Egyptologists everywhere: what exactly happened to the sarcophagus of Menkaure, one of Egypt’s greatest Pharaohs? Now, more than 170 years after it was found and lost, the mystery could be solved.

Built from polished blue basalt to transport the king’s earthly remains to the next world, the elaborately decorated vessel lay hidden inside the third-largest of Giza’s renowned Pyramids for more than 4,000 years. In 1837 the British colonel Richard William Howard Vyse blasted his way into Menkaure’s sepulchral chamber using gunpowder and discovered the stone casket.

The mummy was missing by that time — ancient Arabic graffiti indicated that the colonel was not the first to find the chamber — and he realised that his discovery could open the way for a new generation of grave robbers. "As the sarcophagus would have been destroyed had it remained in the Pyramid," he noted in his diaries, "I resolved to send it to the British Museum."

In a twist worthy of an Indiana Jones film [continue]

More homemade submarines

First off, you must go and look at the photos of this amazing homemade submarine. Incredible, isn’t it?

Now I’m as interested in submarines as the next person, but what I find really fascinating is the number of people who come to Mirabilis.ca as a result of searching for homemade submarine or some similar thing at one of the search engines. It’s been a top search term and visitor draw since I blogged about homemade submarines years ago. Who would have guessed? And who do you think is doing all the searching, anyway? Many of the searches come from an IP range belonging to — well, can you guess what organization? Go on. Try.

Anyway. After our trip to the beach this morning I took a look around the web to see what new submarine content has shown up lately. I’m so disappointed that I didn’t notice this NYT article last summer: An Artist and His Sub Surrender in Brooklyn.

At slack tide off Red Hook, Brooklyn, there are usually lots of things floating in the water, most of which you would not want to touch without the help of a good hazmat suit. But just after sunrise yesterday, something truly strange was bobbing there in the shallows near Pier 41: a submarine fashioned almost completely from wood, and inside it a man with an obsession. [continue]

Personally, I’d be afraid to ride in a submarine, and I’m incompetent when it comes to building things. But should you want to build your own sub, check out sub-log.com’s homebuilt submarines, including plans for building your own submarine. The Personal Submersibles Organization probably has some useful tips, too.

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