One of the most controversial and weird discoveries of all times, the Antikythera Mechanism is still an enygma up to these days.
Discovered around the year 1900-1901 near the coasts of the Greek island Antikythera, this weird mechanism is an analog computer built in the beginning of the 1st century B.C. The same technology was not to be found anywhere around the world until the 14th century, when astronomical clocks began to be built in the Western Europe.
The mechanism was approximately 340 × 180 × 90 mm in size and comprised around 30 bronze gears (although more could have been lost) housed in a wooden box. The largest gear was approximately 140 mm in diameter and had 223 teeth. The mechanism’s remains were found as 82 separate fragments of which only six contain any gears or inscriptions.
The inscriptions on the mechanism appear to be an instructions manual on how to use this amazing device.
Professor Michael Edmunds of Cardiff University, who led the most recent study of the mechanism, said:
“This device is just extraordinary, the only thing of its kind. The design is beautiful, the astronomy is exactly right. The way the mechanics are designed just makes your jaw drop. Whoever has done this has done it extremely carefully … in terms of historic and scarcity value, I have to regard this mechanism as being more valuable than the Mona Lisa.”
The Antikythera Mechanism is now understood to be dedicated to astronomical phenomena and operates as a complex mechanical “computer” which tracks the cycles of the Solar System.
Watch the videos below for more detailed explanations of the Antikythera Mechanism and an overview of the “Antikythera Shipwreck” Exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece, open to the public from April 2012 to April 2013, indeed something worth a thoughtful visit.
The Antikythera Mechanism Video
The Antikythera Shipwreck Exhibition Video