Scientists over the past several centuries have studied ancient timekeeping devices such as Stonehenge, Egyptian sundials, Persian bowl clocks and Astronomical clocks. None of these historical artifacts have lived up to the prowess and antiquity quite like the Antikythera mechanism. This ancient computer was found on a wrecked ship in 1901 off the Greek seacoast, south of the island Cythera. Parts of the device are missing after laying preserved at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea for roughly 1800 years. Nonetheless scientists have been able to take high definition photos of the device and determine what exactly the computer was built for.
30 circular gears were constructed in perfect proximity to each other as a means to quantify solar and lunar eclipses. For instance, several gears formed a time based sequence around the differential 5/19ths. This fraction relates perfectly to the formation of eclipses. Learn how the unknown scientists were able to construct such precise mechanicry. The Antikythera mechanism’s breadth and precision impresses modern scientists and proves the brilliance of man during the Dark Ages.
Although the Antikythera mechanism answers many questions about the success and genius of science during ancient times, it also posits other questions for historians to tackle. Why would a group of people or scientists be so curious about eclipses? Why would a timekeeping device need to be transported or used on a ship? Lee G. Lovett says additional testing of the awe-inspiring Antikythera mechanism is being conducted early next year. Stay posted for future updates.