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View Full Version : Antikythera Mechanism



RPMiller
08-02-2008, 11:46 PM
Some of you may have heard about this device a couple years ago. They have discovered that it is an extremely complex device.

If you haven't heard of it definitely check it out. It has a lot of roleplaying potential and definitely inspires a few ideas.

http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080730/full/454561a.html

There is a video at the bottom of the article that is worth checking out as well.

Robbie
08-03-2008, 01:25 AM
It says you have to pay to access the article.

RPMiller
08-03-2008, 02:14 AM
Oh weird! I guess they rolled it over due to traffic or something. I was able to access it earlier today with no problem. Maybe it is free only for the first day or something.

Anna
08-03-2008, 03:35 AM
I couldn't access it either.

But Wikipedia has an excellent article about it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism

Amazing thing!

Ascension
08-03-2008, 09:03 AM
It's a broken and rusted device they found on the bottom of the Mediterranean, they think it's some sort of calendar/navigation device. I saw a show on it on History channel a few years ago.

RPMiller
08-03-2008, 11:34 AM
It's a broken and rusted device they found on the bottom of the Mediterranean, they think it's some sort of calendar/navigation device. I saw a show on it on History channel a few years ago.
This article actually talked about the most recent discoveries that it is actually a computer used to track dates and other things, but it focused mainly on the discovery that one of its functions was to track the Olympiad timing. It is turning out to be a marvel of engineering and they are starting to rethink just how advanced Greece was circa 100-150 BC which is when this device was created.

I really wish I would have downloaded that video when I had a chance. :(

Midgardsormr
12-18-2008, 12:20 AM
Looks like someone reconstructed the device, and it works:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2008/dec/11/antikythera-first-computer

RPMiller
12-18-2008, 11:42 AM
Oh sweet! That is pretty cool considering its age and the assumed technology of the time period. That would be awesome to find more stuff like that from that time period... assuming there was more.

Midgardsormr
12-18-2008, 12:10 PM
There would almost have to be. A device like that is surely too complex to have been the first of its kind. I'm imagining some tortured clockwork genius locked away in a tiny room in Alexandria building intricate gear-driven machines.

And of course, there were the inventions Archimedes and Hero of Alexandria. Come to think of it, it wouldn't surprise me if Archimedes was responsible for the Antikythera device, at least in part.