Friday, December 26, 2008

Just churning out more random posts...

Okay, so take yourself back in time about 2200 years. Place yourself somewhere in the neighborhood of Greece. On a ship, in the Mediterranean. Now, look around and try to imagine what kind of technology you have access to....

If you've never heard of the Antikythera device, well, you're not alone. I hadn't either. It's a mechanism of gears enclosed in a box, that was found in a shipwreck at the bottom of the Mediterranean about a century ago. It has been dated to about 200 BC. It was very corroded and incomplete, but after almost a hundred years of studying it with everything from microscopes to X-ray machines to who knows what else, it seems they've finally figured the thing out. The video below shows a reproduction of the original Antikythera mechanism.

So, is that cool or what? Maybe it's just my inner geek, but I bet that's more sophisticated than 98% of the "modern" stuff in my house.

And we're not talking about some fanciful Da Vinci drawing or something. This is an actual device! From 200 BC!!

For more background, here's a 2 part clip from a Nature documentary:


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At 12/27/2008 9:44 AM, Blogger Bucky said...


Thanks for posting that. Just amazing.

I'm sitting here in awe and wondering where we might be today had it not been for a thousand years of the medieval dark ages where religion ruled and science was considered evil.

At 12/27/2008 11:22 PM, Blogger knutty knitter said...

I saw the documentary on this some time huh!

Kids want to sleep in tents in the backyard tonight. Sounds good :)

better go see

viv in nz

At 1/05/2009 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm, what did it do?

At 1/05/2009 12:48 PM, Blogger e4 said...

It determined the position of the five known planets and the moon, the phase of the moon, it predicted lunar & solar eclipses, and marked Olympiads. Maybe some other stuff too. There are an awful lot of markings on there.


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