The Antikythera Mechanism

One of the more fascinating ancient mysteries out there is this little gem dug up from the deep:

The shipwreck, known as the Antikythera Wreck, has been dated to the first century BCE. The Antikythera Mechanism dates from the century before that. And then, so the popular version of the story goes, nobody on Earth had either the astronomical knowledge, nor the mechanical know-how, to construct such a device until a millennium later. Some have said the Antikythera Mechanism is therefore proof of time travel, alien visitation, or Atlantis.

skeptoid.com
AntikytheraThe Antikythera Mechanism – Jun 25, 2011

Here is a picture of a mock-up of the device:

 Now I want to build one. Here is a video of a working model of the device:

Antikythera mechanism working model.mov

Here is a video of a virtual model describing the gearing:

Virtual Model of the Antikythera Mechanism by Michael Wright and Mogi Vicentini – Apr 25, 2013

I’d heard of this mechanism before, but there was no explanation for what the thing did or how it was manufactured until very recently. I can only imagine the labor that was involved in making this fine piece of engineering with the tools they had on hand back then. The subject is almost endlessly fascinating to me.

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Postscript

Brian Dunning claimed that his podcast Skeptoid would be free and ad-free forever, back when I first started listening to it. He’s reneged on both those promises over the years. Now you have to subscribe to the feed in order to listen to anything more than the last fifty episodes of the podcast. The information was revelatory at the time I heard the podcast. The same information is now available from other sources, including on a YouTube channel dedicated to the subject that I have since found and included here.

This is a rabbit hole that I could spend years exploring.

Author: RAnthony

I'm a freethinking, unapologetic liberal. I'm a former CAD guru with an architectural fetish. I'm a happily married father. I'm also a disabled Meniere's sufferer.

Attacks on arguments offered are appreciated and awaited. Attacks on the author will be deleted.