U.S. Navy Diving Manual REVISION 6The origins of diving are firmly rooted in man’s need and desire to engage in maritime commerce, to conduct salvage and military operations, and to expand the frontiers of knowledge through exploration, research, and development.Diving, as a profession, can be traced back more than 5,000 years. Early divers confined their efforts to waters less than 100 feet deep, performing salvage work and harvesting food, sponges, coral, and mother-of-pearl. A Greek historian, Herodotus, recorded the story of a diver named Scyllis, who was employed by the Persian King Xerxes to recover sunken treasure in the fifth century B.C.From the earliest times, divers were active in military operations. Their missions included cutting anchor cables to set enemy ships adrift, boring or punching holes in the bottoms of ships, and building harbor defenses at home while attempting to destroy those of the enemy abroad. Alexander the Great sent divers down to remove obstacles in the harbor of the city of Tyre, in what is now Lebanon, which he had taken under siege in 332 B.C.