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20-09-2020, 12:55 PM
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The Antikythera Mechanism

Was sent this in an email from a friend - what do fellow members think?


The Antikythera Mechanism

In 1901, divers exploring a shipwreck off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera discovered a hunk of metal which when x-rayed turned out to be a computer from around 100BC. The device, composed of bronze gears, is a highly sophisticated clockwork mechanism which is believed to have been used to calculate astronomical events such as eclipses and the orbit of the moon. The discovery proves just now advanced ancient science was - and just how little we credit our ancestors for knowledge and technology they discovered long before us.
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20-09-2020, 01:10 PM
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Re: The Antikythera Mechanism

It's an amazing thing. My son who is a student of antiquities told me about it. I don't know much about it.
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20-09-2020, 01:22 PM
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Re: The Antikythera Mechanism

Originally Posted by Silver Tabby ->
Was sent this in an email from a friend - what do fellow members think?


The Antikythera Mechanism

In 1901, divers exploring a shipwreck off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera discovered a hunk of metal which when x-rayed turned out to be a computer from around 100BC. The device, composed of bronze gears, is a highly sophisticated clockwork mechanism which is believed to have been used to calculate astronomical events such as eclipses and the orbit of the moon. The discovery proves just now advanced ancient science was - and just how little we credit our ancestors for knowledge and technology they discovered long before us.
I've watched several documentaries about it and read several articles on its construction - the complexity of the device seems at odds with its' antiquity. Clockwork finally appeared in Europe during the Renaissance, many centuries later, and accurate timepieces even later ......

This is the BBC documetary:

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20-09-2020, 02:51 PM
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Re: The Antikythera Mechanism

It's nothing new. It's an Astrolabe - a type of navigation device that used the alignment of stars and planets to navigate the seas. It was used by the ancient Phoenicians who were prolific explorers.
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20-09-2020, 03:03 PM
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Re: The Antikythera Mechanism

Originally Posted by Judd ->
It's nothing new. It's an Astrolabe - a type of navigation device that used the alignment of stars and planets to navigate the seas.
No, it's not .....

Astrolabe:

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

An astrolabe (Ancient Greek: ἀστρολάβος astrolabos; Arabic: ٱلأَسْطُرلاب‎ al-Asturlāb; Persian: ستاره*یاب‎ Sitārayāb) is an elaborate inclinometer and can be considered an analog calculator capable of working out several kinds of problems in astronomy. Historically used by astronomers and navigators to measure the altitude above the horizon of a celestial body, day or night, it can be used to identify stars or planets, to determine local latitude given local time (and vice versa), to survey, or to triangulate. It was used in classical antiquity, the Islamic Golden Age, the European Middle Ages and the Age of Discovery for all these purposes.
The Antikythera mechanism

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

The Antikythera mechanism (/ˌæntɪkɪˈθɪərə/ AN-tə-kə-THEER-ə) is an ancient Greek hand-powered analogue computer the oldest known example of such a device used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for calendar and astrological purposes decades in advance. It could also be used to track the four-year cycle of athletic games which was similar to an Olympiad, the cycle of the ancient Olympic Games.

The instrument is believed to have been designed and constructed by Greek scientists and has been variously dated to about 87 BC, or between 150 and 100 BC, or to 205 BC, or to within a generation before the shipwreck, which has been dated to approximately 70–60 BC.

The device, housed in the remains of a 34 cm × 18 cm × 9 cm (13.4 in × 7.1 in × 3.5 in) wooden box, was found as one lump, later separated into three main fragments which are now divided into 82 separate fragments after conservation efforts. Four of these fragments contain gears, while inscriptions are found on many others. The largest gear is approximately 14 centimetres (5.5 in) in diameter and originally had 223 teeth.

It is a complex clockwork mechanism composed of at least 30 meshing bronze gears. A team led by Mike Edmunds and Tony Freeth at Cardiff University used modern computer x-ray tomography and high resolution surface scanning to image inside fragments of the crust-encased mechanism and read the faintest inscriptions that once covered the outer casing of the machine.

Detailed imaging of the mechanism suggests that it had 37 gear wheels enabling it to follow the movements of the Moon and the Sun through the zodiac, to predict eclipses and even to model the irregular orbit of the Moon, where the Moon's velocity is higher in its perigee than in its apogee. This motion was studied in the 2nd century BC by astronomer Hipparchus of Rhodes, and it is speculated that he may have been consulted in the machine's construction.

The knowledge of this technology was lost at some point in antiquity. Similar technological works later appeared in the medieval Byzantine and Islamic worlds, but works with similar complexity did not appear again until the development of mechanical astronomical clocks in Europe in the fourteenth century.
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20-09-2020, 03:11 PM
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Re: The Antikythera Mechanism

Originally Posted by Omah ->
No, it's not .....

Astrolabe:

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



The Antikythera mechanism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism
My bad.
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20-09-2020, 04:05 PM
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Re: The Antikythera Mechanism

Originally Posted by Judd ->
My bad.
If you get a chance, watch the video that I've linked ..... it will astound you ..... the permutations of the gearing made by the ancients to allow for the future variations of celestial bodies, including the irregular orbit of the Moon, where the Moon's velocity is higher in its perigee than in its apogee, are incredibly complex .....

This is a schematic of the known gearing:



but much of the original mechanism is missing and other gearing/functions would have been available .....
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20-09-2020, 04:11 PM
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Re: The Antikythera Mechanism

I wonder if Phillip Pullman based the alethiometer in His Dark Materials trilogy on this?
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22-09-2020, 08:13 AM
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Re: The Antikythera Mechanism

How absolutely fascinating !
Thank you for posting this Tabbs .
Thanks for the video Oman
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