Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Antikythera Mechanism

The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient, intricate machine found in a shipwreck near Greece that dates back to about 100 BC. The Antikythera mechanism contains gears and structures that were not found in devices again for 1000 years. No one can agree on where the Antikythera mechanism was made or who designed it. Popular belief was that it was made by the Greeks due to its instructions all being in Greek but research suggests it may have come from Sicily.

The mechanism seems to be designed to work out astronomical positions, however at the time of construction laws of gravity or how heavenly bodies moved had not been discovered. This would suggest that the Antikythera mechanism has a purpose that no one alive at the time would have understood. It cannot have had a mechanical purpose (such as navigating ships) because there were no machines of the era that would benefit from the multiple functions and settings the machine has.