In 1900 a group of sponge divers blown off course in the Mediterranean discovered an Ancient Greek shipwreck dating from around 70 BC. Lying unnoticed for months amongst their hard-won haul was what appeared to be a formless lump of corroded rock.
Jo Marchant is a freelance journalist specialising in science and history. Her writing has appeared in publications including New Scientist, The Guardian and The Economist, and until recently she was an opinion editor at New Scientist magazine.
Her most recent book is 'Decoding the Heavens', the story of the Antikythera mechanism, the most stunning scientific artefact we have from antiquity, which was discovered in 1900 and led to 100 years of study to understand it.