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Author Topic: ANTIKYTHERA Mechanism  (Read 3862 times)
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« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2007, 07:32:20 pm »

                                            THE ANTIKYTHERA CALCULATOR

                                              (The Antikythera Mechanism)

The Calculator of Antikythera, found into a naval wreckage of the I century B.C. in the waters in front of Antikythera in the Aegean sea, is one the most amazing archaeological discoveries of last century.

The mechanism, immediately appeared out of time, after years of study is provoking a discussion among scientists and archaeologists because of the complexity and the modernity of the scientific knowledge that the work implies; the epicyclic gearing with which has been built shows the elevated level of the scientific culture reached in that period. The design of this special gear makes to suppose that Hellenistic scientists knew the calculation of the planetary motion of the celestial bodies and that the same results could have been achieved in modern times.

The mechanism is constituted of a handle operating about 32 bronze gears into a wood box, as great as a shoes box. These gears could rotate the hands of special quadrants. Perhaps it has been made in Rhodes by the astronomer Gemino or his teacher Posidonio (135-51 B.C.).

After its recovery in 1902, for fifty years it is not understood what it was. In 1951 Derek John De Solla Price (1922-1983) started, for the first time, to study the mechanism in the details also with radiographies to the gamma rays range and, after about 20 years of searches, he understood its working as an astronomic calculator.

It had the function to reproduce the lunar phases and the movement of the Sun and the Moon among the constellations of the zodiac. Probably it could also represent the motion around the Sun of the visible planets at naked eye (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). It could be used both like an instrument for the navigation and for astronomic investigations. Currently it results to be the most ancient analogical calculator of the history.

The astronomic calculator in the classical literature – The Calculator of Antikythera is the only planetarium arrived to us, but the Latin literature quotes another older one, built by Archimede in the III century B.C., also presumably with gear mechanisms.

Cicero (106-43 B.C., contemporary to the sinking of the Calculator of Antikythera) reports that, after the conquest in Syracuse in the 212 B.C., the Roman consul Marcello carried in Rome a celestial globe and a planetarium built by Archimede (287-212 B.C.): De Re Publica, I, 14, and besides also 21 and 22; Tusculanae disputationes, I, 63.

This planetarium was mentioned also by Ovidio (I sec. B.C.) in the Fasti (VI, 263-283), Lattanzio (IV sec. A.D.) in the Divinae institutiones (II, 5, 18) and in a Claudiano epigram (IV sec. A.D.) entitled In Archimedis Sphaeram. Particularly, Claudiano adds that the instrument was contained in a starry sphere of glass. Unfortunately any description detailed of the mechanisms that animated the planetarium has been saved as the work of Archimede On the construction of the Sphere, in which he described the principles adopted in the construction, has gone lost. This literary topics, however, show that the construction of these mechanisms was very diffused for centuries.
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« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2007, 07:34:09 pm »

Antikythera calculator advances modern science – The heliocentric planetary system, proposed in modern times by Copernico in 1543 (De revolutionibus orbium coelestium), has been anticipated in the ancient times from Aristarco of Syme (310 ca. - 230 B.C.).

The studies of the last one however, were opposed for many following centuries, allowing the assertion of the Aristotle (384 - 322 B.C.) geocentric theory and of Claudio Tolomeo (100 ca. - 170 ca. A.C.), that, this last brings it in his Almagesto. Aristarco was supported only by few scientists, some contemporaries of him like Archimede in Syracuse (287 - 212 B.C.), that quotes the Aristarco heliocentric theory in his book the Arenario.

The most of the Aristarco writings have gone lost, and it is not possible to know what are the elements adopted by him to support its theory.

The knowledge of the planetary motion, necessary for the design of the epicyclic gearing present in the Calculator of Antikythera could have been one of the reasons induced by Aristarco and a lean number of Hellenistic scientists supporting the heliocentric theory.

Here the mathematical model and the analytical development for brevity are not included, but they are broadly shown in my book. In the following chart are brought, comparatively, the results of the calculation:
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« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2007, 07:35:31 pm »



Cinematic calculation based on the acquaintances of the Greek period Calculated with Newton law Measured Cinematic calculation based on the acquaintances of the Greek period Calculated with Newton law

of the Moon around Earth 1.006 0.988 1.011 0.0182*1022 0.0176*1022

of the Earth around Sun 29.782 29.786 29.790 3.544*1022 3.545*1022
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« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2007, 07:40:43 pm »

Consequently it is supposed that some sublime minds of the ancient times, with the knowledge of the equations of the epicyclic gearings that the construction of the Calculator of Antikythera implies, were able also to calculate the distance of the Earth from the Sun and accordingly the speed of the Earth and the Moon and their strength of gravity, the same results reached applying the Newton law achieving.

In such case, certainly they have also anticipated of 19 centuries the results of the law of the universal gravitation formulated by Isaac Newton in 1687 in his publication Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica.
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« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2007, 07:46:48 pm »

Besides, the mathematical model of the epicyclic gearings used for the construction of the Calculator of Antikythera, presents many kinematics analogies with the "Theory of the vortexes" used by modern and contemporary scientists to simulate the formation of the solar system.

The model of the universe to "vortexes" has been hypothesized in modern epoch by Cartesio (Principia Philosophiae Naturalis, 1644), then taken back, on new bases, by Immanuel Kant (Universal Natural History and Theory of Heaven - Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels, 1755) and subsequently re-elaborated by Pierre-Simon de Laplace (Exposure of the system of the world, 1796; Mécanique céleste, 1799-1825). The theory of Kant, will be then acquired by the History of the Science like nebular hypothesis of Kant-Laplace.

The model to "vortexes" on the origin of the universe and of the solar system was proposed also recently (1944) by the German Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker (1912-2007). The study has then been enriched and completed by the Dutch Gerard Pieter Kuiper (1905-1973).

The genial intuitions of the scientists of seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were confirmed by the discoveries made in recent years with the spacial telescope Hubble, put in circular orbit around the Earth by the NASA in 1999.

Therefore, like more broadly shown in my book, the proof of the use of epicyclic model in the construction of the Calculator of Antikythera and the kinematics analogies of the model tend to hypothesize that the ideas of the modern and contemporary scientists on the origin of the universe must be backdated of many centuries.

In conclusion, the discovery of the Calculator of Antikythera makes to presume that the ancient individualized two principal ideas:

The heliocentric nature opposite the geocentric one of the solar system.

The formation of the solar system based on the "Theory of the vortexes".
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« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2008, 11:15:40 am »

The small island of Antikythera
in the Aegean Sea

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« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2008, 11:22:51 am »

                                  T H E   A N T I K Y T H E R A   M E C H A N I S M

The Antikythera Mechanism was found by divers in 1901, and many died while performing the search.  The device is over 2,000 years old.

Many scientists originally thought the Antikythera Mechanism was a piece of navigational equipment.  Little did they know it would be one of the most important scientific measuring devices ever discovered.

One of the oldest known astronomical calculating devices is called the Antikythera Mechanism.  It was discovered somewhere between Greece and the Island of Crete.

The diving crew who discovered the Antikythera Mechanism originally set out to look for sea sponges.  When they discovered the sunken ship containing the device, they believed they had found sunken treasure.

The Antikythera Mechanism was housed in a wooden box.  Inside the box were many detailed gears made of bronze, and scientists originally used x-rays to look inside.

The National Bank of Greece has created the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project, a group of scientists and historians who have dedicated themselves to researching this very important discovery.

Many scientists consider the Antikythera Mechanism to be one of the most complex scientific objects ever to be preserved.  It is a key to our modern civilization.

So much research has been done on the Antikythera Mechanism that many people have recreated what it might have looked like when it was working in its original state before it sank underwater.

The Antikythera Mechanism has given many people including philosophers, astronomers, historians, and other scientists a great insight on the history of mankind and of science.

Many people have tried to recreate the Antikythera Mechanism to get a better understanding of how it worked, and to see just how complex the machine really was.  It is also a good educational tool.

The exact year that the Antikythera Mechanism is not known for sure, but many speculate it was created somewhere around the year 80-82 BC.

Aside from it being a scientific measuring device, many people consider the Antikythera Mechanism to be the world’s oldest computer.  The device is the stuff of legend, and some even say it came from aliens.

The Antikythera Mechanism contains about 30 or so gears, and within the last 50 years scientists have really begun to delve into its functions and how it may have been used many years ago.

Many feel that the Antikythera Mechanism really showed us how sophisticated and ahead of their time the Greeks were, particularly before the takeover from the Roman Empire. 

The Antikythera Mechanism is one of the first pieces of evidence to show that many people actually believed that all planets rotated around the sun, disproving the previous thoughts of thinkers like Aristotle.

The intricate way in which the Antikythera Mechanism works was so startling to many scientists, that they often dismissed the device’s dating, doubting it could be as old as it really was.

Some scientists claim they have found an ancient inscription on the inside of the Antikythera Mechanism that could help to unlock the mystery of its origins.

After many years of detailed research, the Antikythera Mechanism is now on display for millions of yearly visitors at the National Museum located in Athens, Greece.

Many famous scholars, scientists, and professors have written papers and performed lectures about the Antikythera Mechanism, giving many people different views on the ancient device.

There are many theories about who actually built the Antikythera Mechanism, and the most popular is that it was built by Posidonius, a historian who studied how the sun and moon rotated and moved.

When the Antikythera Mechanism was originally found, its wooden casing dried from the ocean water and cracked, leaving it in four separate parts, and exposing the more detailed innards to many stunned people.

Currently work is still underway to completely decipher the inscriptions found on the inside of the Antikythera Mechanism.  The final interpretation is to be released to the public in the near future.

The complexity of the gears found within the Antikythera Mechanism baffled scientists, since this type of “technology” was not though to have been in existence until around 1575.

Many feel that the Antikythera Mechanism helps to explain how such wonderful phenomena as the ancient pyramids, the Greek Colisseum, and the Parthenon were built with such exquisite detail.

Many claim that the Antikythera Mechanism is the actual first analog computer that uses dials, gears, astronomy theory, and intricate handiwork combined to make one of mankind’s oldest and most significant machines.
© 2006
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« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2008, 11:31:10 am »

                                  The Antikythera Mechanism's Implications

   It is neither facile nor uninstructive to remark that the
Antikythera mechanism dropped and sank--twice.  The first time was
around 76 B.C., when the intricate astronomical computer was lost with
the rest of a treasure-ship's cargo.  The second time came after Derek
De Solla Price analyzed and published its construction and nature
decades after its recovery.  Since his Gears from the Greeks in 1975,
little attention has been paid to our most exciting relic of advanced
ancient technology.  It is the purpose of this paper to take Price's
conclusions, and to use that information in furthering our
understanding of the civilization that created it.

   From the fragments of the inscriptions and the position of the
gears, Price deduced that the device was linked closely to Geminus of
Rhodes, and had been built circa 87 B.C.  Besides the inscriptions'
near-identity to Geminus's surviving book, distinctive Rhodian amphorae
from the wreck supported Price's deduction.  Rhodes was a center for
astronomical thought, where Poseidonius determined the nature of the
tides and built a much more complicated astronomical computer than the
one recovered (Cic. Nat de. 2.34-35).

   Price drew his conclusions despite the widespread belief that
continues to maintain that Rhodes in 1st Century was a fading ghost of
past glory, crippled economically by the competition of the free port
of Delos.  Scholars before and after Price ignored and continue to
ignore Rhodes' enduring reputation in antiquity as a center for
intricate military and naval technology (Dio Chrys. 31.104).  With it,
the last of the Greek democracies successfully warded off even Roman
domination until 43 B.C. (Strabo 14.653, Polyb. 21.7.1-4)

   The proof the mechanism offers of Rhodes' enduring technological
expertise and economic vitality poses a question the device also helps
to answer:  Why was such an expensive and intricate device constructed?
Even in its supposed "glory days" Rhodes was chiefly famous for the
 abilities of its seafarers--and therein lies the answer.

     Very little indeed, is known about ancient celestial navigation,
besides indisputable proof that it did, in fact, occur (Homer, Od.
5.233- 40, Libanius, Progymnasmata, Sententiae 1.13).   It is worth
noting, however, that the man who invented trigonometry and first
scientifically catalogued the stars' positions was Hipparchus of
Rhodes; that in more than one ancient system of latitude and longitude
the meridians crossed at Rhodes (Dicearchos Fr. 33, Strabo 2.1.1, 5.7,
12.5, 31) and that Poseidonius's travels and mechanisms found support
at the same place where Geminus did his writings--and inspired or
built the Antikythera mechanism.

     Besides such tantalizing synchronicities, the existence of the
Antikythera mechanism also should prompt fundamental change in the
way the ancient sources are read.  When Cicero, Ovid (Fast.
6.263-283), Plutarch and others speak of intricate devices and their
use--such as an intricately- geared "machine gun" catapult, supposed
to have been built on Rhodes (Philon. Bel. 73)--the Antikythera
device's very existence should prompt us to something besides
skepticism.  When all the implications of Price's discovery are
understood and acted upon, modern scholarship shall truly be said to
have understood the Antikythera technology.

Text of the 1993 APA Abstract

Rob S. Rice
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« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2008, 11:36:19 am »

                                                     Crusty Old Computer:

                        New Imaging Techniques Reveal Construction Of Ancient Marvel

Peter Weiss

Scientists say that they have figured out the arrangement and functions of nearly all the parts of a mysterious mechanical gadget that was discovered a century ago in a 2,000-year-old shipwreck.


THEN AND NOW. Artist's rendering of the proposed internal machinery of an ancient astronomical computer (left) includes hands on upper- and lower-gear trains that rotated to track long-term astronomical cycles. Superimposed on fragments of the computer (right) is a reconstruction of a spiral dial for predicting solar and lunar eclipses.
Copyright of the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project

Since it was found, the shoe-box-size device known as the Antikythera mechanism has amazed historians and other scholars with its advanced technology. The precision assembly contains 30 bronze gears with as many as 224 presumably hand-cut teeth.

Students of the mechanism, who have long known that it served as an astronomical computer, have deemed it to be at least 1,000 years more advanced than any other known mechanical device of its era. The remains of the apparatus consist of more than 80 congealed fragments of disintegrating metal adorned with cryptic inscriptions and encrusted with corrosion.

To make sense of that shattered structure, astronomer Michael G. Edmunds of Cardiff University in Wales and his colleagues have now applied two advanced imaging techniques to the shards. One is X-ray computer tomography, which records views of an object like those produced by a medical CT scanner. A high-power X-ray source penetrated the dense relic with a beam narrow enough to reveal fine details, says Andrew Ramsey, a tomography specialist with X-Tek Systems in Tring, England.

"The computer tomography images of the mechanism have literally opened the device up to us to see how it worked," comments ancient-astronomy scholar John M. Steele of the University of Durham in England.

The researchers also applied a novel computer-enhanced, optical-imaging technique for examining surface features.

Indeed, in the Nov. 30 Nature, the team of British, Greek, and American researchers reports that its fresh look at the mechanism has uncovered clear evidence of a previously suspected function: computing lunar and solar eclipses. The new images also doubled the number of inscriptions that could be read on the device's parts. The inscriptions indicated specific functions, not all of which had been known.

Furthermore, the work revealed a previously unrecognized lunar-motion feature, says filmmaker and mathematician Tony Freeth of Images First, a leader of the study.

The researchers used their new data to come up with a revised configuration for the machine's clockwork that uses 29 of the 30 known gears plus five hypothetical gears, four of which had been proposed previously by other researchers.

The new work is "an important advance," comments Michael T. Wright, an Antikythera-mechanism scholar and a retired curator of London's Science Museum.

In the issue of Nature containing the report, François Charette of Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich calls the model "highly seductive and convincing in all of its details."

Among such details is a proposed spiral dial at the lower-back section of the device. Around this dial, the motion of a hand indicates the solar and lunar eclipses during a period of 18 years. Wright adds that the Antikythera mechanism probably also employed long-lost ways to show the motions of planets.


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« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2008, 09:18:35 pm »

Latest developments for the Antikythera Mechanism
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« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2008, 06:33:44 am »

                             Ancient world's "supercomputer" calculated Olympic Games

by Richard Ingham
Wed Jul 30, 2008
PARIS (AFP) - A clockwork machine hailed as the supercomputer of the ancient world provided a calendar for the Olympic Games and may have had a link with Archimedes, one of the greatest names
in science, investigators believe.
The 2,100-year-old device has bemused and bedazzled experts ever since its corroded and calcified bronze wheels and dials were recovered from a Roman shipwreck by Greek sponge divers in 1901.

For decades, they speculated that the machine, called the Antikythera Mechanism, was an astronomical calendar, although how it worked was unclear.

In 2006, experts using X-ray computed tomography confirmed the theory by getting a 3D view of its 29 surviving gears and used high-resolution imaging to get a close up of tiny letters engraved on the surface.

They figured it was able to estimate a 365-day calendar with the leap day ingeniously included; the 19-year Metonic calendar devised by the Babylonians; and a predictor of eclipses over a 223-month cycle, including a complex motion that became notorious as the "First Anomaly" of the Moon.

In a new study, published on Thursday in the British weekly journal Nature, the sleuths say they have now discovered that one of the dials recorded the dates of the ancient Olympics, possibly to provide a benchmark for the passage of time.

"We were astonished, honestly," said Tony Freeth, a member of the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project, gathering experts at the universities of Cardiff in Wales and of Athens and Salonika in Greece, as well as the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

"The Olympiad cycle was a very simple, four-year cycle and you don't need a sophisticated instrument like this to calculate it. It took us by huge surprise when we saw this.

"But the Games were of such cultural and social importance that it's not unnatural to have it in the Mechanism."

The gadget was so cleverly engineered that it could fit into a small box about the size of an encyclopaedia, enabling it to be transported.

What was it used for?

Maybe it helped the rich and powerful predict times for marriage or birth or for waging war or agreeing to peace, speculates Freeth, emphasising though that no evidence has ever emerged to back such ideas.

Hi-tech imaging of the Mechanism was carried out by an eight-tonne leviathan known as BladeRunner, as its usual job was to investigator jet turbine blades to see if they carry any microscopic cracks. It was transported to Athens for the operation, as the delicate relics are housed at the National Archaeological Museum.

"BladeRunner" found another novelty -- that the dial for the Metonic calendar has names for the Corinthian family of months.

Corinth, in central Greece, established colonies in northwestern Greece, Corfu and Sicily, where Archimedes was established.

Archimedes, whose list of exploits included an explanation for the lever, the displacement of water and
a screw pump that bears his name today, died there in 212 BC.

The Mechanism was "almost certainly made many decades" after his death, said Alexander Jones, a professor at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in New York.

If it came from Syracuse, the dial could have been made by the school of scientists and instrument-makers he inspired.

Instead of one Olympics as there is today, the ancient Olympiads, called the Panhellenic Games, comprised four games spread over four years.

The events comprised the Pythian Games, held every four years at Delphi in honour of the god Apollo; the Isthmian Games, held every two years in Corinth in honour of Poseidon; the Nemean Games, also held every two years, in Nemea in honour of Zeus; and the most important, the Olympic Games, held every four years in Elis, also in honour of Zeus.

Drawing competitors from across the Greek empire, which stretched from Sicily to Asia Minor, the Games were so important that they became the basis for Greek chronology, becoming the term for a four-year period -- historians noted "the third year of the eighth Olympiad" and so on.

The first Olympiad, or four-year period, dated back to 776 BC, although the Games are believed to have a far longer history.

The last Games of the ancient world were recorded in 393 AD, but were outlawed by the Roman Empire as pagan. The tradition of counting in Olympiads persisted into the next century, however.
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« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2008, 09:40:37 pm »

The front face of a model replica of the ancient
astronomical calculator is seen at the National
Archaeological Museum of Athens.

                     Astronomical calculator kept track of ancient Olympics, study finds

The inclusion of the Olympic data on the 2,100-year-old Antikythera mechanism provides evidence that

for its scientific sophistication, the device also was put to practical use, researchers say.

By Thomas H. Maugh II,
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 31, 2008

A 2,100-year-old bronze and iron computer that predicted eclipses and other astronomical events also showed the cycle of the Greek Olympics and the related games that led up to it, researchers reported today.

The research team also has been able to decipher all the month names from the heavily corroded fragments of the so-called Antikythera mechanism, providing the first concrete evidence that an astronomical scheme devised by the Greek astronomer Geminos was put to practical use.

 Simply complexTeasing out the month names was "a really spectacular achievement," said science historian Francois Charette of Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, who was not involved in the research.

Historians "had until now doubted that this scheme had actually been used in civil life, but the evidence from the Antikythera mechanism now proves them wrong," he said.

The inclusion of the data about the Olympic Games on what is now called the Olympiad Dial of the clock-like mechanism was a surprise to the researchers because the dates of the ancient Olympics, held every fourth summer from 776 BC to AD 393, would have been well known to the populace, just as the time of the modern Olympics is now.

"The inclusion of the Olympiad Dial says more about the cultural importance of the Games than about their advanced technology," said Tony Freeth of Images First Ltd. in London, who was a member of the research team that reported the results in the journal Nature.

The Antikythera mechanism, so named because it was found in 1901 in a Roman shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera, is thought to have been made about 100 BC.

Its purpose was a mystery for more than 100 years, but in 2006, researchers used a massive X-ray tomography machine, similar to that used to perform CT scans on humans, to examine the heavily encrusted fragments.

They concluded that the device originally contained 37 gears that formed an astronomical computer.

Two dials on the front show the zodiac and a calendar of the days of the year that can be adjusted for leap years. Metal pointers show the positions in the zodiac of the sun, moon and five planets known in antiquity. Two spiral dials on the back show the cycles of the moon and predict eclipses.

Using more powerful computers to analyze the CT data, Freeth and his colleagues, all affiliated with the in Cardiff, Wales, were able to decipher the names of all 12 months, as well as names identifying several Greek games.

The month names indicate that device probably was not from Rhodes, as originally thought, but from Corinth or one of its colonies, such as Syracuse -- home of the famed astronomer Archimedes, who lived a century before the device was made. Seven of the month names had a possible link to Syracuse.

The Metonic calendar that was used had months that averaged 30 days, with one day omitted every 64th day in order to have the correct average month length over the entire Metonic cycle of 19 years.

The key to the Olympiad Dial was the discovery of the words "NEMEA," "ISTHMIA," "PYTHIA" and "OLYMPIA."

The first reference is to the Nemean Games, one of the events that were part of the four-year cycles that climaxed with the Olympics. Isthmia represented the games at Corinth, Pythia those at Delphi and Olympia the Olympics themselves.

This dial puts the mechanism "under a considerably different light, as it tells us that, for all its technological and scientific sophistication, it was not purely a 'scientific' object, but rather also displayed information of relevance to civil life," Charette said.
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« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2008, 06:52:38 pm »
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« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2008, 10:13:59 pm »



Streaming Video:


Nature 454, 614-617

(31 July 2008)

| doi:10.1038/nature07130;

Received 28 March 2008;

Accepted 2 June 2008

Calendars with Olympiad display and eclipse prediction on the Antikythera Mechanism
Tony Freeth1,2, Alexander Jones3, John M. Steele4 & Yanis Bitsakis1,5

Antikythera Mechanism Research Project, 3 Tyrwhitt Crescent, Roath Park, Cardiff CF23 5QP, UK
Images First Ltd, 10 Hereford Road, South Ealing, London W5 4SE, UK

Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, 15 East 84th Street, New York, New York 10028, USA

Department of Physics, University of Durham, Rochester Building, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
Centre for History and Palaeography, 3,

P. Skouze str., GR-10560 Athens, Greece

Correspondence to: Tony Freeth1,2 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to T.F. (Email:

Previous research on the Antikythera Mechanism established a highly complex ancient Greek geared mechanism with front and back output dials1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

The upper back dial is a 19-year calendar, based on the Metonic cycle, arranged as a five-turn spiral1, 6, 8.

The lower back dial is a Saros eclipse-prediction dial, arranged as a four-turn spiral of 223 lunar months, with glyphs indicating eclipse predictions6. Here we add surprising findings concerning these back dials.

Though no month names on the Metonic calendar were previously known, we have now identified all 12 months, which are unexpectedly of Corinthian origin.

The Corinthian colonies of northwestern Greece or Syracuse in Sicily are leading contenders—the latter suggesting a heritage going back to Archimedes. Calendars with excluded days to regulate month lengths, described in a first century bc source9, have hitherto been dismissed as implausible10, 11.

We demonstrate their existence in the Antikythera calendar, and in the process establish why the Metonic dial has five turns. The upper subsidiary dial is not a 76-year Callippic dial as previously thought8, but follows the four-year cycle of the Olympiad and its associated Panhellenic Games. Newly identified index letters in each glyph on the Saros dial show that a previous reconstruction needs modification6.

We explore models for generating the unusual glyph distribution, and show how the eclipse times appear to be contradictory.

We explain the four turns of the Saros dial in terms of the full moon cycle and the Exeligmos dial as indicating a necessary correction to the predicted eclipse times. The new results on the Metonic calendar, Olympiad dial and
eclipse prediction link the cycles of human institutions with the celestial cycles embedded in the Mechanism's gearwork.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2008, 12:00:00 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2008, 08:31:35 pm »

The Antikythera mechanism (IPA: [ˌæntɪkɪˈθɪərə], an-ti-ki-theer-uh; Greek: IPA: [ˌɑndiˈkiθirɑ], ahn-dee-kee-thee-rah), is an ancient mechanical calculator (also described as the first known "mechanical computer"  designed to calculate astronomical positions.

It was discovered in the Antikythera wreck off the Greek island of Antikythera, between Kythera and Crete, in 1900.

Subsequent investigation, particularly in 2006, dated it to about 150–100 BC, and hypothesised that it was on board a ship that sank en route from the Greek island of Rhodes to Rome.

Technological artifacts of similar complexity did not reappear until a thousand years later.
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