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Antikythera Mechanism Mysteries Revealed

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There seems to be new insights about the Antikythera mechanism. 

 

Background information:

The Antikythera mechanism was discovered by local sponge divers as part of a hoard of objects from a shipwreck near the Greek island of Antikythera during the spring of 1900. Some feel that the shipwreck was a Roman ship with Greek objects from the first century BCE:

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Some scholars speculated that the ship was carrying part of the loot of the Roman General Sulla from Athens in 86 BC, and might have been on its way to Italy. A reference by the Greek writer, Lucian, to one of Sulla's ships sinking in the Antikythera region gave rise to this theory. Supporting an early first-century BC date were domestic utensils and objects from the ship, similar to those known from other first-century BC contexts. The amphorae recovered from the wreck indicated a date of 80–70 BC, the Hellenistic pottery a date of 75–50 BC, and the Roman ceramics were similar to known mid-first century types. Any possible association with Sulla was eliminated, however, when the coins discovered in the 1970s during work by Jacques Cousteau and associates were found to have been minted between 76 and 67 BC. Nevertheless, it is possible that the sunken cargo ship was en route to Rome or elsewhere in Italy with looted treasures to support a triumphal parade. Alternatively, perhaps the cargo was assembled on commission from a wealthy Roman patron.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_wreck

Replica of the 2,000-year-old Antikythera Mechanism reveals how ancient  Greeks calculated the cosmos | Daily Mail Online

 

One of the objects found from the shipwreck was a strange and initially-unremarkable bronze object known as the Antikythera mechanism.

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On 17 May 1902, archaeologist Valerios Stais found that one of the pieces of rock had a gear wheel embedded in it. He initially believed that it was an astronomical clock, but most scholars considered the device to be prochronistic, too complex to have been constructed during the same period as the other pieces that had been discovered. Investigations into the object were dropped until British science historian and Yale University professor Derek J. de Solla Price became interested in it in 1951. In 1971, Price and Greek nuclear physicist Charalampos Karakalos made X-ray and gamma-ray images of the 82 fragments.

There were many who felt that the device is the first known analog computer. (An analog computer is one that "uses the continuously changeable aspects of physical phenomena such as electrical, mechanical, or hydraulic quantities to model the problem being solved.)

NAMA Machine d'Anticythère 1.jpg NAMA Machine d'Anticythère 4.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism

 

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Researchers at UCL have solved a major piece of the puzzle that makes up the ancient Greek astronomical calculator known as the Antikythera Mechanism, a hand-powered mechanical device that was used to predict astronomical events.

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Known to many as the world’s first analogue computer, the Antikythera Mechanism is the most complex piece of engineering to have survived from the ancient world. The 2,000-year-old device was used to predict the positions of the Sun, Moon and the planets as well as lunar and solar eclipses.

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Researchers at UCL have solved a major piece of the puzzle that makes up the ancient Greek astronomical calculator known as the Antikythera Mechanism, a hand-powered mechanical device that was used to predict astronomical events. Known to many as the world's first analogue computer, the Antikythera Mechanism is the most complex piece of engineering to have survived from the ancient world. The 2,000-year-old device was used to predict the positions of the Sun, Moon and the planets as well as lunar and solar eclipses.

Whilst great progress has been made over the last century to understand how it worked, studies in 2005 using 3D X-rays and surface imaging enabled researchers to show how the Mechanism predicted eclipses and calculated the variable motion of the Moon. However, until now, a full understanding of the gearing system at the front of the device has eluded the best efforts of researchers. Only about a third of the Mechanism has survived, and is split into 82 fragments - creating a daunting challenge for the UCL team.

 

The latest article:

https://www.heritagedaily.com/2021/03/researchers-reveal-display-of-the-ancient-greek-order-of-the-universe-cosmos-in-antikythera-mechanism/137660

 

A great video about the history and latest insights about the Antikythera mechanism. Recommend highly!

 

Summary: Most of us are vaguely familiar the Antikythera mechanism. The new research is exciting.

 

guy also known as gaius

 

 

 

 

Older videos about the device:

 

Edited by guy

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 I've always been fascinated by the object. Imagine the anguish when news of the ship wreck reached whomever was responsible for its creation - looted or other wise. 

Did I miss what type of material it is made of?  Why would only 1/3 of it survive? Corrosion causing it to fragment and those fragments being dispersed by the water current,  surely there has been efforts to scour the site for them. Ah, all too mind blowing to think about.

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4 hours ago, Crispina said:

 I've always been fascinated by the object. Imagine the anguish when news of the ship wreck reached whomever was responsible for its creation - looted or other wise. 

Did I miss what type of material it is made of?  Why would only 1/3 of it survive? 

 

Thank you for reading.

Yea, losing that shipment would be devastating. (I get upset when my letter gets lost, so I could only imagine losing these treasures.)

From my reading, the Antikythera mechanism was bronze. I'm surprised that any of it survived nearly 2000 years under the sea. 

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