Antikythera Mechanism Facts

Antikythera Mechanism Facts
The Antikythera mechanism is often referred to as an ancient calculator that was recovered from the Antikythera shipwreck in roughly July 1901, off the coast of Antikythera, a Greek Island. The Antikythera mechanism is an instrument that would have been used to predict astronomical events and positions dating back to approximately 205 BC. The Antikythera mechanism is believed to have been built by Greek scientists but the technology used was lost over time and did no resurface until the 1300s in Europe with mechanical astronomical clocks. The Antikythera mechanism is housed at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece.
Interesting Antikythera Mechanism Facts:
The Antikythera mechanism is often referred to as the very first analog computer.
The complexity and quality of the Antikythera mechanism suggests to researchers that it had predecessors from the Hellenistic period.
The Antikythera mechanism was created with theories that were developed in mathematics and astronomy by Greek astronomers.
Derek de Solla Price, a physicist and the father of scientometrics, dated the Antikythera mechanism to 87 BC and believed it to have been lost only a few years after its completion.
When Jacques Cousteau visited the shipwreck in 1976 he discovered coins dating to the years between 76 and 67 BC.
When the Antikythera mechanism was recovered from the Mediterranean it was a single piece but it soon broke into three major parts.
The front face of the Antikythera mechanism contained a fixed ring dial meant to represent the ecliptic. The ecliptic is the path of the sun along the celestial sphere. The 12 zodiac signs are also marked off each in 30 degree sections.
Beyond the ecliptic ring dial was another rotatable ring dial marked with the 12 months containing 30 days plus the five 'extra' days.
In order to operate the Antikythera mechanism a hand crank was used, which was linked to the largest gear via a crown gear. This gear moved the date pointer to the correct calendar date.
On the surviving pieces of the outer ring of the Antikythera mechanism are inscribed three Egyptian months including Pachon, Payni, and Epiphi.
The Zodiac dial contained the 12 members of the zodiac. It also contained single characters keyed to a parapegma (type of almanac) representing various events such as evening, Taurus begins to rise, Gemini begins to rise, and Arcturus sets in the morning.
The Antikythera mechanism was used to predict solar eclipses, calculate the Ancient Olympic Games timing, and to track the Metonic calendar.
The back of the Antikythera mechanism also had dials including the two large displays for the Saros and Metonic, and three smaller Olympiad, Exeligmos, and Callippic indicators.
The Antikythera mechanism had at least 30 gears, although there could have been more as the ancient Greeks were surely capable.
The boat which sunk, taking the Antikythera mechanism is theorized to have been en route to Julius Caesar.
The Antikythera mechanism was not considered of importance until 75 years after its discovery.
The inventor of the Antikythera mechanism may have also been the inventor of Trigonometry - Hipparchus.

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