Apr 25, 2009
The Antikythera mechanism is an antique Greek clockwork device discovered in a shipwreck, that has taken longer than a hundred years to understand. The mechanism itself is at present housed in the Greek National Archaeological Museum in the Greek capital and is regarded to be the single most complex antiquities in existence. The Antikythera Mechanism was initially understood to function as a elaborate automatic “computer” that is intended to path the phases of the Solar System and work out calendars or astrological occurrences. However, new evidence suggests further uses for this unique device.
This precious ancient relic is one of the principal fragments of evidence to indicate that many individuals from an early era actually conceived that all planets revolved around the sun, refuting the previous concepts of philosophers like Aristotle and is titled following its locality of discovery, where Greek divers, investigating a Roman shipwreck at a depth of 136 feet in 1901, happended upon 82 strange bronze-colored pieces. It has been assessed that the antihysteric mechanism was created around 87 BC, and importantly it was the first recognized geared machinery to use a differential gear, which was subsequently to be employed within early analogue computers.
Once recovered and washed, the Antikythera mechanism was viewed for what it was, a complicated structure of gears gathered into a bronze contraption resembling a clocklike structure. The differential gears are composed of over 30 individual bronze gears with teeth fashioned by way of equilateral triangles which were used to add or deduct angular momenta. The device appeared to have a variety of engaging gears and a small hand lever to provide a rotating movement to the geared machine, in addition to a display that displayed data about the lunar month, sun and major planets in contrast to a background of stars. The intricacy of the gears discovered within the Antikythera Mechanism bewildered researchers, given that this form of “lost technology” was not considered to have existed until approximately 1575.
A fresh examination of the Antikythera Mechanism, has now disclosed that aside from forecasting solar evolutions the device was additionally used to chart Olympic games. Tony Freeth, a associate of the Antikythera Mechanism Research Program, revealed he was “astounded” at the revelation. His astonishment stemmed from the fact that the Olympic Games sequence was a extremely uncomplicated, 4 year cycle which you would contemplate would not need such a intricate tool to work out. However, given the Games were of such cultural and ethnic significance to the Greek population it is now considered that it is not unusual for them to have included it within the mechanism. Utilising new advanced three dimensional surveying techniques the group discovered the words “Olympia”, “Pythia”, “Nemea” and “Isthmia” which was part of the forerunner events to the principal Panhellenic championship engraved onto one of the gears.
Regardless of what this amazing machine was designed to accomplish it continues to be one of the most astounding ancient discoveries and confirmation of ‘lost technology’ of forgotten times which does raise some interesting questions and potentially impacts our understanding of other mystifying anomolies of the world, ones we shall be covering in the months and years to come. See below video of a reconstruction of the Antikythera device in action probably not much dissimular to the original design of around 87BC, truly staggering….