Monday, December 04, 2006

Ancient Mystery is Unveiled as Astronomical Calculator

Antikythera Mechanism
Buffalo News

     CARDIFF, Wales - A team led by Cardiff University researchers has unravelled the secrets of a 2,000-year-old computer that could transform the way we think about the ancient world.

Mike Edmunds and Tony Freeth of Cardiff University led the team who believe they have finally cracked the workings of the Antikythera Mechanism, a clock-like astronomical calculator dating from the second century B.C. Cardiff University is one of Britain's leading teaching and research universities.

The team unveiled its full findings last week at a two-day international conference in Athens, and is publishing the research in the journal Nature. The researchers are now hoping to create a computer model of how the machine worked, and, in time, a full working replica.

Remnants of a broken wooden and bronze case containing more than 30 gears was found by divers exploring a shipwreck off the island of Antikythera (off the coast of Crete) at the turn of the 20th century. Scientists have been trying to reconstruct it ever since. The new research suggests it is more sophisticated than anyone previously thought.

More . . .

See Also: Digging Up a Cosmic Past


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