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Tracking the Cosmos: The Technology of the Antikythera Mechanism

Tracking the Cosmos: The Technology of the Antikythera Mechanism


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March 4, 2010, The Getty Villa

Jo Marchant, author of Decoding the Heavens, and science historian and physicist James Evans join award-winning journalist and author Patt Morrison to discuss the Antikythera Mechanism, a unique object recovered from the wreck of a Greek ship lost 2,000 years ago.

This program is part of The Villa Council Presents, a series of annual presentations related to the theme of antiquity made possible by the Villa Council.

Love art? Follow us on Google+ to stay in touch: http://bit.ly/gettygoogleplus

Due to copyright issues, we are unable to show images referred to in this program. To view some images mentioned in the program and to learn more about the Antikythera Mechanism, please visit the following Web sites:

The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project
http://www.antikythera-mechanism.gr

Hewlett Packard's Interactive Relighting of the Antikythera Mechanism
http://www.hpl.hp.com/research/ptm/antikythera_mechanism/

Jo Marchant's Decoding the Heavens
http://www.decodingtheheavens.com

James Evans, Director, Program in Science, Technology and Society, and Professor of Physics, University of Puget Sound
http://www2.ups.edu/faculty/jcevans/


Scientists unlock the ‘Cosmos’ on the Antikythera Mechanism

Scientists may have finally made a complete digital model of the 2000-year-old Cosmos panel of a mechanical device called the Antikythera mechanism, which is considered the world’s first computer.

The fragments of the shoebox-sized device were first discovered by Greek sponge divers in a Roman shipwreck in 1900. They were once filled with gears and used to predict the movement of celestial bodies.

The fragments found accounted for only one-third of the larger equipment: a highly complex manual gearbox capable of accurately predicting the movements of the five planets known to the ancient Greeks, as well as the phases of the sun, moon, and sun. Solar eclipses and lunar eclipses-display them relative to the time of ancient events (such as the Olympics).

However, despite years of arduous research and debate, scientists have not been able to fully replicate the mechanism that drives this amazing device or the calculations used in its design from the corroded brass fragments found in the sunken ship. But now, researchers at University College London say that they have completely recreated the design of the device from the ancient calculations used to create the device, and are now putting together their own devices to see if their design works.

“Our work reveals the Antikythera Mechanism as a beautiful conception, translated by superb engineering into a device of genius,” the researchers wrote March 12 in the open-access journal Scientific Reports. “It challenges all our preconceptions about the technological capabilities of the ancient Greeks.”

Why should Antikythera be made?

Because of all the mysteries surrounding the device, the researchers hope to recreate the device to solve the root of many problems. In addition, no one has created a so-called model of the universe that is consistent with all physical evidence.

This is the largest piece of the 2,100-year-old Antikythera Mechanism, which is on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece. (Photo: National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece)

The size of the complex gears that make up the mechanism of the device can be found in the grandfather clock, but the only other gears found in the same period were larger gears such as ball guns or longbow bos, and catapults. This complexity raises many questions about the manufacturing process that can create such a unique and intricate manufacturing process, and why it was discovered on an ancient shipwreck near Antikythera Island as the only equipment of its kind.

Now that the computer model has been made, the researchers hope to make a physical version, first using modern technology so that they can check whether the equipment is working properly, and then use the technology that the ancient Greeks might use.

Wojcik, one of the researchers told Live Science, “There’s no evidence that the ancient Greeks were able to build something like this. It really is a mystery. The only way to test if they could is to try to build it the ancient Greek way”

“And there’s also a lot of debate about who it was for and who built it. A lot of people say it was Archimedes,” Wojcik said. “He lived around the same time it was constructed, and no one else had the same level of engineering ability that he did. It was also a Roman shipwreck.” Archimedes was killed by Romans during the Siege of Syracuse, after the weapons he invented failed to prevent them from capturing the city.

It also remains a mystery whether the ancient Greeks used similar techniques to create other as yet undiscovered devices, or whether copies of the Antikythera mechanism are waiting to be found.


A Portable Cosmos : Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, Scientific Wonder of the Ancient World

In addition to chronicling the unlikely discovery of the Antikythera Mechanism, author Alexander Jones takes readers through a discussion of how the device worked, how and for what purpose it was created, and why it was on a ship that wrecked off the Greek coast around 60 BC. What the Mechanism has
uncovered about Greco-Roman astronomy and scientific technology, and their place in Greek society, is truly amazing. The mechanical know-how that it embodied was more advanced than anything the Greeks were previously thought capable of, but the most recent research has revealed that its displays
were designed so that an educated layman could understand the behavior of astronomical phenomena, and how intertwined they were with one's natural and social environment. It was at once a masterpiece of machinery as well as one of the first portable teaching devices. Written by a world-renowned
expert on the Mechanism, A Portable Cosmos will fascinate all readers interested in ancient history, archaeology, and the history of science.

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LibraryThing Review

The guts of this book is actually less about the famous device itself and rather more about the calendrical systems the machine incorporated and how we know what we know about this artifact. As for . Читать весь отзыв

A Portable Cosmos: Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, Scientific Wonder of the Ancient World

Jones, professor of the history of exact sciences in antiquity at NYU, exhaustively analyzes the famed Antikythera mechanism, a mysterious bronze astronomical device of ancient Greek origins that many . Читать весь отзыв


Discussion and results

We wanted to determine the cycles for all the planets in this Cosmos (not just the cycles discovered for Venus and Saturn) to incorporate these cycles into highly compact mechanisms, conforming to the physical evidence and to interleave them so their outputs correspond to the customary cosmological order (CCO), described below. Here we show how we have created gearing and a display that respects the inscriptional evidence: a ring system with nine outputs—Moon, Nodes, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Date—carried by nested tubes with arms supporting the rings. The result is a radical new model that matches all the data and culminates in an elegant display of the ancient Greek Cosmos. With so much missing, we ensure the integrity of our model with a strict set of Reconstruction Principles (Supplementary Discussion S1) and we assess the strength of data that validates each element—discussed in Supplementary Discussion S1. The loss of evidence might suggest many options for a model. What has struck us forcefully in making the present model is just how few these options are: the constraints created by the surviving evidence are stringent and very difficult to meet.


The Cosmos in the Antikythera Mechanism: ET Flunked Astronomy

That’s the title of a new, freely accessible scholarly paper on the Antikythera mechanism you can find here. Here’s the abstract:

The Antikythera Mechanism is a fragmentarily preserved Hellenistic astronomical machine with bronze gearwheels, made about the second century B.C. In 2005, new data were gathered leading to considerably enhanced knowledge of its functions and the inscriptions on its exterior. However, much of the front of the instrument has remained uncertain due to loss of evidence. We report progress in reading a passage of one inscription that appears to describe the front of the Mechanism as a representation of a Greek geocentric cosmology, portraying the stars, Sun, Moon, and all five planets known in antiquity. Complementing this, we propose a new mechanical reconstruction of planetary gearwork in the Mechanism, incorporating an economical design closely analogous to the previously identified lunar anomaly mechanism, and accounting for much unresolved physical evidence.

For all those ancient aliens enthusiasts out there, please note the line about the five planets known in antiquity. The Gadarene rush among some in of that ilk to label the mechanism as proof of high (read: alien) technology in the ancient world would of course be proven wrong by this analysis. We’d have another case (just like Sumerian and Babylonian astrolabes and astronomical texts, contra Zecharia Sitchin) where the “aliens” presumably behind this technology only knew about five planets in our solar system.

Amazing how consistent that is. Why? Because we’re talking about human naked eye astronomy, not alien knowledge.


Experts recreate a mechanical Cosmos for the world's first computer

Researchers at UCL have solved a major piece of the puzzle that makes up the ancient Greek astronomical calculator known as the Antikythera Mechanism, a hand-powered mechanical device that was used to predict astronomical events.

Known to many as the world's first analogue computer, the Antikythera Mechanism is the most complex piece of engineering to have survived from the ancient world. The 2,000-year-old device was used to predict the positions of the Sun, Moon and the planets as well as lunar and solar eclipses.

Published in Scientific Reports, the paper from the multidisciplinary UCL Antikythera Research Team reveals a new display of the ancient Greek order of the Universe (Cosmos), within a complex gearing system at the front of the Mechanism.

Lead author Professor Tony Freeth (UCL Mechanical Engineering) explained: "Ours is the first model that conforms to all the physical evidence and matches the descriptions in the scientific inscriptions engraved on the Mechanism itself.

"The Sun, Moon and planets are displayed in an impressive tour de force of ancient Greek brilliance."

The Antikythera Mechanism has generated both fascination and intense controversy since its discovery in a Roman-era shipwreck in 1901 by Greek sponge divers near the small Mediterranean island of Antikythera.

The astronomical calculator is a bronze device that consists of a complex combination of 30 surviving bronze gears used to predict astronomical events, including eclipses, phases of the moon, positions of the planets and even dates of the Olympics.

Whilst great progress has been made over the last century to understand how it worked, studies in 2005 using 3D X-rays and surface imaging enabled researchers to show how the Mechanism predicted eclipses and calculated the variable motion of the Moon.

However, until now, a full understanding of the gearing system at the front of the device has eluded the best efforts of researchers. Only about a third of the Mechanism has survived, and is split into 82 fragments - creating a daunting challenge for the UCL team.

The biggest surviving fragment, known as Fragment A, displays features of bearings, pillars and a block. Another, known as Fragment D, features an unexplained disk, 63-tooth gear and plate.

Previous research had used X-ray data from 2005 to reveal thousands of text characters hidden inside the fragments, unread for nearly 2,000 years. Inscriptions on the back cover include a description of the cosmos display, with the planets moving on rings and indicated by marker beads. It was this display that the team worked to reconstruct.

Two critical numbers in the X-rays of the front cover, of 462 years and 442 years, accurately represent cycles of Venus and Saturn respectively. When observed from Earth, the planets' cycles sometimes reverse their motions against the stars. Experts must track these variable cycles over long time-periods in order to predict their positions.

"The classic astronomy of the first millennium BC originated in Babylon, but nothing in this astronomy suggested how the ancient Greeks found the highly accurate 462-year cycle for Venus and 442-year cycle for Saturn," explained PhD candidate and UCL Antikythera Research Team member Aris Dacanalis.

Using an ancient Greek mathematical method described by the philosopher Parmenides, the UCL team not only explained how the cycles for Venus and Saturn were derived but also managed to recover the cycles of all the other planets, where the evidence was missing.

PhD candidate and team member David Higgon explained: "After considerable struggle, we managed to match the evidence in Fragments A and D to a mechanism for Venus, which exactly models its 462-year planetary period relation, with the 63-tooth gear playing a crucial role."

Professor Freeth added: "The team then created innovative mechanisms for all of the planets that would calculate the new advanced astronomical cycles and minimize the number of gears in the whole system, so that they would fit into the tight spaces available."

"This is a key theoretical advance on how the Cosmos was constructed in the Mechanism," added co-author, Dr Adam Wojcik (UCL Mechanical Engineering). "Now we must prove its feasibility by making it with ancient techniques. A particular challenge will be the system of nested tubes that carried the astronomical outputs."

The discovery brings the research team a step closer to understanding the full capabilities of the Antikythera Mechanism and how accurately it was able to predict astronomical events. The device is kept at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

The UCL Antikythera Research Team is supported by the A.G. Leventis Foundation, Charles Frodsham & Co. and the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers.

The team is led by Dr Adam Wojcik and made up of Professor Tony Freeth, Professor Lindsay MacDonald (UCL CEGE), Dr Myrto Georgakopoulou (UCL Qatar) and PhD candidates David Higgon and Aris Dacanalis (both UCL Mechanical Engineering).

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.


The Cosmos in the Antikythera Mechanism: ET Flunked Astronomy

That’s the title of a new, freely accessible scholarly paper on the Antikythera mechanism you can find here. Here’s the abstract:

The Antikythera Mechanism is a fragmentarily preserved Hellenistic astronomical machine with bronze gearwheels, made about the second century B.C. In 2005, new data were gathered leading to considerably enhanced knowledge of its functions and the inscriptions on its exterior. However, much of the front of the instrument has remained uncertain due to loss of evidence. We report progress in reading a passage of one inscription that appears to describe the front of the Mechanism as a representation of a Greek geocentric cosmology, portraying the stars, Sun, Moon, and all five planets known in antiquity. Complementing this, we propose a new mechanical reconstruction of planetary gearwork in the Mechanism, incorporating an economical design closely analogous to the previously identified lunar anomaly mechanism, and accounting for much unresolved physical evidence.

For all those ancient aliens enthusiasts out there, please note the line about the five planets known in antiquity. The Gadarene rush among some in of that ilk to label the mechanism as proof of high (read: alien) technology in the ancient world would of course be proven wrong by this analysis. We’d have another case (just like Sumerian and Babylonian astrolabes and astronomical texts, contra Zecharia Sitchin) where the “aliens” presumably behind this technology only knew about five planets in our solar system.

Amazing how consistent that is. Why? Because we’re talking about human naked eye astronomy, not alien knowledge.


Why recreate Antikythera?

The researchers wanted to recreate the device because of all the mystery surrounding it, as a way to possibly get to the bottom of so many questions. In addition, nobody had ever created a model of the so-called Cosmos that reconciled with all of the physical evidence.

“The distance between this device’s complexity and others made at the same time is infinite,” co-author Adam Wojcik, a materials scientist at UCL, told Live Science. “Frankly, there is nothing like it that has ever been found. It’s out of this world.”

The intricate gears that made up the device’s mechanism are of a scale you could expect to find in a grandfather clock, but the only other gears discovered from around the same period are the much larger ones that went into things like ballistas, or large crossbows, and catapults.

This sophistication brings up a lot of questions about the manufacturing process that could have made such a uniquely intricate contraption, as well as why it was discovered as the only known device of its kind on an ancient sunken ship off the island of Antikythera.

Related: The 20 most mysterious shipwrecks ever

“What is it doing on that ship? We only found one-third where are the other two [thirds]? Have they corroded away? Did it ever work?” Wojcik said. “These are questions that we can only really answer through experimental archaeology. It’s like answering how they built Stonehenge, let’s get 200 people with some rope and a big stone and try to pull it across Salisbury Plain. That’s a bit like what we’re trying to do here.”


RELATED ARTICLES

The calculator's gears and face form the motions of the planets and sun, phases of the lunar calendar and positions of Zodiac constellations, along with special Earth events like the Olympic Games.

At the time there were only five known planets and the Greek's positioned the Earth as the center of the universe, which was all taken into account by UCL when making their model.

The team used a combination of X-ray images and ancient Greek mathematical analysis to build its digital replica

In 1901, divers looking for sponges off the coast of Antikythera, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, stumbled upon a Roman-era shipwreck that held the highly sophisticated astronomical calculator. Only about one third of the Mechanism has survived, and is split into 82 fragments

Researchers say the mechanism may have displayed the movement of the sun, moon and the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn on concentric rings.

The team began their work where Michael Wright, a former curator of mechanical engineering at the Science Museum in London, had left off.

Wright built the first workable system at the front that calculated planetary motions and periods, with a coaxial pointer display of the Cosmos, proving its mechanical feasibility – but failed at making it fully operational.

However, only about one third of the Mechanism has survived, and is split into 82 fragments that has played a part into why the device has been difficult to decipher.

The largest fragment, known as Fragment A, shows features of bearings, pillars and a block, while Fragment D features a disk, a 63 tooth-gear and plate.

Researchers say the mechanism may have displayed the movement of the sun, moon and the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn on concentric rings. Pictured (bottom) are the images captured using X-ray data

The largest fragment, known as Fragment A (a-h), shows features of bearings, pillars and a block, while Fragment D (i-l) features a disk, a 63 tooth-gear and plate. Images m-p are digital reconstruction of both pieces of how they original fit 2,000 years ago

Now that the team has an idea how the Mechanism was constructed, the next step is to 'prove its feasibility by making it with ancient techniques. Pictured is the digital construction of the front gear system

Previous work used X-ray data in 2005 to uncover thousands of text characters hidden inside the fragments.

Inscriptions on the back cover include a description of the cosmos display, with the planets moving on rings and indicated by marker beads.

What as the Antikythera Mechanism used for?

From a few words deciphered on the twisted, corroded fragments of bronze gears and plates, experts guessed the relic was an astronomical instrument.

But much more remained hidden out of sight.

After more than a decade's efforts using cutting-edge scanning equipment, an international team of scientists has now read about 3,500 characters of explanatory text - a quarter of the original - in the innards of the 2,100-year-old remains.

They say it was a kind of philosopher's guide to the galaxy, and perhaps the world's oldest mechanical computer.

And this is what help the UCL team reconstruct the device.

Two critical numbers in the X-rays of the front cover, of 462 years and 442 years, accurately represent cycles of Venus and Saturn.

When observed from Earth, the planets' cycles sometimes reverse their motions against the stars and the variable cycles must be tracked over a long period in order to accurately predict their positions.

Ph.D. candidate and UCL Antikythera Research Team member Aris Dacanalis, said: 'The classic astronomy of the first millennium BC originated in Babylon, but nothing in this astronomy suggested how the ancient Greeks found the highly accurate 462-year cycle for Venus and 442-year cycle for Saturn.'

Using an ancient Greek mathematical method described by the philosopher Parmenides, the UCL team not only explained how the cycles for Venus and Saturn were derived but also managed to recover the cycles of all the other planets, where the evidence was missing.

Ph.D. candidate and team member David Higgon explained: 'After considerable struggle, we managed to match the evidence in Fragments A and D to a mechanism for Venus, which exactly models its 462-year planetary period relation, with the 63-tooth gear playing a crucial role.'

Professor Freeth added: 'The team then created innovative mechanisms for all of the planets that would calculate the new advanced astronomical cycles and minimize the number of gears in the whole system, so that they would fit into the tight spaces available.'

The Antikythera Mechanism was named after the southern Greek island off which it was found, in a mid-1st century BC shipwreck, discovered first in 1901 in the Aegean Sea. Location of the shipwreck pictured

Now that the team has an idea how the Mechanism was constructed, the next step is to 'prove its feasibility by making it with ancient techniques,' added co-author, Dr. Adam Wojcik (UCL Mechanical Engineering).

'A particular challenge will be the system of nested tubes that carried the astronomical outputs,' he continued.


UCL team solves Antikythera Mechanism mystery

The ancient Greek Antikythera Mechanism was used to predict the positions of the Sun, Moon and the planets as well as lunar and solar eclipses. Discovered in a Roman-era shipwreck in 1901 by divers near the Mediterranean island of Antikythera, the astronomical calculator has fascinated researchers ever since.

The hand-powered device consists of a complex combination of 30 surviving bronze gears used to predict astronomical events. Studies in 2005 using 3D X-rays and surface imaging enabled researchers to show how the mechanism predicted eclipses and calculated the variable motion of the moon, but a full understanding of the gearing system at the front of the device had so far eluded scientists&rsquo efforts.

Published in Scientific Reports, the team&rsquos findings are said to represent a significant advancement toward understanding the full capabilities of the Antikythera Mechanism. The paper reveals a new display of the ancient Greek order of the Universe (Cosmos).

&ldquoOurs is the first model that conforms to all the physical evidence and matches the descriptions in the scientific inscriptions engraved on the mechanism itself,&rdquo said lead author Tony Freeth, professor of mechanical engineering at UCL. &ldquoThe Sun, Moon and Planets are displayed in an impressive tour de force of ancient Greek brilliance.&rdquo

Only around a third of the mechanism has survived and is split into 82 fragments. The biggest surviving fragment, known as Fragment A, displays features of bearings, pillars and a block. Another, known as Fragment D, features an unexplained disk, 63-tooth gear and plate.

The 2005 data revealed thousands of text characters hidden inside the fragments, unread for nearly 2000 years. Inscriptions on the back cover include a description of the cosmos display, with the planets moving on rings and indicated by marker beads. The team worked to reconstruct this display.

Two critical numbers in the X-rays of the front cover, of 462 years and 442 years, accurately represent cycles of Venus and Saturn respectively. When observed from Earth, the plants&rsquo cycles sometimes reverse their motions against the stars. Experts must track these cycles over long time-periods to predict their positions.

PhD candidate and team member Aris Dacanalis explained that the classic astronomy of the first millennium BC originated in Babylon, but that nothing in the astronomy suggested how the ancient Greeks found the highly accurate cycles for Saturn and Venus.

Using an ancient Greek mathematical method described by the philosopher Parmenides, the team has reportedly discovered how the cycles were derived, as well as recovering the cycles of all other planets where evidence was missing.

&ldquoAfter considerable struggle, we managed to match the evidence in Fragments A and D to a mechanism for Venus, which exactly models its 462-year planetary period relation, with the 63-tooth gear playing a crucial role,&rdquo said PhD candidate and team member David Higgon.

Professor Freeth explained that the team then created mechanisms for all of the planets that would calculate the new advanced astronomical cycles and minimise the number of gears in the whole system, so that they would fit into the tight spaces available.

&ldquoThis is a key theoretical advance on how the Cosmos was constructed in the Mechanism,&rdquo added co-author, Dr Adam Wojcik (UCL Mechanical Engineering). &ldquoNow we must prove its feasibility by making it with ancient techniques. A particular challenge will be the system of nested tubes that carried the astronomical outputs.&rdquo

A video with further information can be found here.

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Experts recreate a mechanical Cosmos for the world's first computer

Researchers at UCL have solved a major piece of the puzzle that makes up the ancient Greek astronomical calculator known as the Antikythera Mechanism, a hand-powered mechanical device that was used to predict astronomical events.

Known to many as the world's first analogue computer, the Antikythera Mechanism is the most complex piece of engineering to have survived from the ancient world. The 2,000-year-old device was used to predict the positions of the Sun, Moon and the planets as well as lunar and solar eclipses.

Published in Scientific Reports, the paper from the multidisciplinary UCL Antikythera Research Team reveals a new display of the ancient Greek order of the Universe (Cosmos), within a complex gearing system at the front of the Mechanism.

Lead author Professor Tony Freeth (UCL Mechanical Engineering) explained: "Ours is the first model that conforms to all the physical evidence and matches the descriptions in the scientific inscriptions engraved on the Mechanism itself.

"The Sun, Moon and planets are displayed in an impressive tour de force of ancient Greek brilliance."

The Antikythera Mechanism has generated both fascination and intense controversy since its discovery in a Roman-era shipwreck in 1901 by Greek sponge divers near the small Mediterranean island of Antikythera.

The astronomical calculator is a bronze device that consists of a complex combination of 30 surviving bronze gears used to predict astronomical events, including eclipses, phases of the moon, positions of the planets and even dates of the Olympics.

Whilst great progress has been made over the last century to understand how it worked, studies in 2005 using 3D X-rays and surface imaging enabled researchers to show how the Mechanism predicted eclipses and calculated the variable motion of the Moon.

However, until now, a full understanding of the gearing system at the front of the device has eluded the best efforts of researchers. Only about a third of the Mechanism has survived, and is split into 82 fragments -- creating a daunting challenge for the UCL team.

The biggest surviving fragment, known as Fragment A, displays features of bearings, pillars and a block. Another, known as Fragment D, features an unexplained disk, 63-tooth gear and plate.

Previous research had used X-ray data from 2005 to reveal thousands of text characters hidden inside the fragments, unread for nearly 2,000 years. Inscriptions on the back cover include a description of the cosmos display, with the planets moving on rings and indicated by marker beads. It was this display that the team worked to reconstruct.

Two critical numbers in the X-rays of the front cover, of 462 years and 442 years, accurately represent cycles of Venus and Saturn respectively. When observed from Earth, the planets' cycles sometimes reverse their motions against the stars. Experts must track these variable cycles over long time-periods in order to predict their positions.

"The classic astronomy of the first millennium BC originated in Babylon, but nothing in this astronomy suggested how the ancient Greeks found the highly accurate 462-year cycle for Venus and 442-year cycle for Saturn," explained PhD candidate and UCL Antikythera Research Team member Aris Dacanalis.

Using an ancient Greek mathematical method described by the philosopher Parmenides, the UCL team not only explained how the cycles for Venus and Saturn were derived but also managed to recover the cycles of all the other planets, where the evidence was missing.

PhD candidate and team member David Higgon explained: "After considerable struggle, we managed to match the evidence in Fragments A and D to a mechanism for Venus, which exactly models its 462-year planetary period relation, with the 63-tooth gear playing a crucial role."

Professor Freeth added: "The team then created innovative mechanisms for all of the planets that would calculate the new advanced astronomical cycles and minimize the number of gears in the whole system, so that they would fit into the tight spaces available."

"This is a key theoretical advance on how the Cosmos was constructed in the Mechanism," added co-author, Dr Adam Wojcik (UCL Mechanical Engineering). "Now we must prove its feasibility by making it with ancient techniques. A particular challenge will be the system of nested tubes that carried the astronomical outputs."


Watch the video: Tracking the Cosmos: The Technology of the Antikythera Mechanism (May 2022).