(AGI) Oristano, May 19 - Researchers have developed an aquatic robot to use in archaeological research. The machine, the first in Europe, can see up to ten metres deeper than the seabed. Tests are being carried out in the Santa Giusta basin by the Bologna Institute of Marine Sciences (Ismar), the Pro Ambiente Consortium, the Institute for the Coastal Marine Environment in Torregrande (IAMC), Cagliari University, the Sardinia authorities and the municipality of Santa Giusta. Significant archeological discoveries have been made in the area which can be traced back to the Phoenician city of Othoca and the probable location of a port. The robot, similar to a miniature catamaran, can be piloted remotely from the shore and transfers images obtained by sound waves in real time, then the data is used to draw three-dimensional maps. These "could be very helpful in studying the evolution of these places, which is so important in our research," said Carla Del Vais of Cagliari University. The Santa Giusta experiment is reminiscent of another which used georadar in Mont'e Prama, Sinis di Cabras, to carry out research on the statues of giants. The mechanism is similar: it looks where the human eye cannot see to discover archaeological remains. Researchers Fabrizio del Bianco from the Pro Ambiente Consortium and Giuseppe Stanghellini from the Bologna Institute of Marine Sciences said: "The aquatic robot has been built using open technology. It was created as a geophysics tool to study layering in the seabed, and now it is important for archaeological research." Tests have given positive results and ancient amphoras have been recovered from the bottom of the Santa Giusta basin. They were sent to Cagliari along with their content, which included a lamb's head, for analysis and tests. (AGI). .