|Some twenty-five miles north-west of Crete, in 1901, fishermen discovered an old wreck and its cargo of marble, pottery and other objects near the island of Andikithra, Greece. Among these items was an encrusted bronze object of undetermined use. It languished in the reserve section of a museum until 1955 when a curious scientist decided to clean it. He found that it was a complex instrument with cog-wheels fitting one into another. Finely graduated circles and inscriptions marked on it in ancient Greek were obviously concerned with its function. The object seems to have been a sort of astronomical clock without a pendulum. The cargo has enabled the shipwreck to be dated around the 1st century BC. The article below, taken from Wikipedia contains some very interesting information.|
Now, thanks in part to HP Labs' imaging technology, scientists have been able to create a virtual reconstruction of what is now known as the Antikythera Mechanism.
Considered to be the oldest known mechanical calculator, the device was used to track the movements of the moon and the sun (and possibly the planets around Earth) and to predict the dates of future eclipses. According to scientists, no earlier geared mechanism of any sort has ever been found.
"Nothing as complex is known until you get to the Middle Ages, when people started building clocks," says Tom Malzbender, one of two HP Labs researchers who helped with the discovery.
Malzbender and Dan Gelb got involved in the project a year ago, when members of the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project invited them to Athens to apply their patented reflectance imaging techniques to the deciphering process.
They used the technology to view the front and rear surfaces of the more than 70 fragments that comprise the mechanism, including metal plates and gears, some of which are inscribed with faded Greek characters.
Reflectance imaging involves taking photos of an artifact from a fixed point and 50 different light sources arrayed in a hemisphere over the object, and then stitching those images together. This allowed archaeologists to change the angle of light or texture of the surface of the object to make faint markings appear more vivid.
The results of this work in collaboration with researchers from the U.K. and Greece, appear in the 29 November 2006 edition of the British science journal, Nature ("Decoding the ancient Greek astronomical calculator known as the Antikythera Mechanism"). An X-ray technique, called computer tomography, was also used to probe the depths of the device. The new research explains how the gears work and identifies twice as many markings on the device as previously detected.
|The Amazing Ancients||The Voynich Question|
|Mystery Rock||Voynich: Introduction to the Voynich Manuscript|
|The Flat Earth Myth||Voynich: Physical Composition of the Manuscript|
|Megaliths||Voynich: History of the Voynich Manuscript|
|Stonehenge||Voynich: The Layout of the Manuscript|
|Atlantis||Voynich: The Text, Language and Illustrations|
|Ancient Time Piece||Voynich: A Possible Middle Eastern Connection|
|Bahrain||Who Discovered the New World?|
|Zimbawe||Saharah Desert's Changing Climate|
|Ancient Pueblo Dwellers|