Bayeux Tapestry tech specs calculated

Written by Antony Leather

March 28, 2011 // 12:30 p.m.

Tags: #bayeux-tapestry #capacity #data #read-speed

The Bayeux Tapestry has been compared against modern methods of data storage in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek but nonetheless interesting article on The Register.

By using known facts about the 934-year-old bit of cloth's 50,000in2+ surface area, length and the number of threads, the entire tapestry was converted into an 8-bit 47dpi image. On this basis, the article claims the tapestry contains 2.429MB of information.

Given that it took ten years to complete, this equates to a write speed of just 2.168 bytes an hour to depict the whole story surrounding the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

However, the read speed (via the Mk I human eyeball) is rather quicker. 'The read rate, going by the length of the taped commentary you hear as you walk along the length of the tapestry for 30 minutes, is 4.68MB an hour per person,' says the site.

This, according to the article, increases to 351MB per hour based on the fact that 75 people could possibly be reading it at the same time.

This might be a peculiar way of looking at data storage, but we doubt any mainstream storage devices that we use today would still be functioning after nearly a millennium of use.

Can you think of other ways of storing data for long periods of time? Let us know in the forums.

QUICK COMMENT

View this in the forums

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

WEEK IN REVIEW

TOP STORIES

SUGGESTED FOR YOU