Antikythera Mechanism

In 1900 (or 1901), an encrusted piece of bronze was salvaged from an ancient Greek shipwreck off the island of Antikythera (also called Andikithira). It was an engraved bronze plate with a complex gear train. The device computed the positions of the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, the rising and setting times and phases of the Moon and displayed them on its etched dials with a high accuracy. [3]

This mechanism is the earliest mechanical calculator for which we have hard evidence. It dates from around 80 BC. It was not until the 1950s that its purpose was fully understood. At first, scholars had difficulty believing that the ancient Greeks could have achieved such a level of scientific advancement. There seems to be no evidence that this type of advanced gear mechanism was produced again before the 18th century; the Antikythera Mechanism remains unique.

But there was no doubting the age of the Antikythera Mechanisim, and the more they studied it, the more its complexity was revealed and the less they could doubt its purpose.
If you want to know the details, the June, 1959 issue of Scientific American carried an in-depth article by Derek J. deSolla Price.[1], [2]

Other interesting article Some of the images presented here seem to stem from the
publications of Welfare and Farley

other unsolved mysteries

© HTML Copyright 2000-2001 Mario Hilgemeier, email: contact
homepage fivefold-symmetrical stamp