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Secrets of Antikythera Mechanism, world's oldest calculating machine, revealed
The Times ^ | 7/30/2008

Posted on 07/31/2008 8:14:49 PM PDT by bruinbirdman

The secrets of the worlds oldest calculating machine are revealed today, showing that it had dials to mark the timing of eclipses and the Olympic games.

Ever since the spectacular bronze device was salvaged from a shipwreck after its discovery in 1900 many have speculated about the uses of the mechanical calculator which was constructed long before the birth of Christ and was one of the wonders of the ancient world.

The dictionary sized crumbly lump containing corroded fragments of what is now known to be a marvellous hand cranked machine is known as the 'Antikythera Mechanism' because it was discovered near the tiny island of Antikythera, between Crete and mainland Greece.

"We knew that this 2,100 year-old ancient Greek mechanism calculated complex cycles of mathematical astronomy. It really surprised us to discover that it also showed the four-year cycle of ancient Greek games," reports Dr Tony Freeth of Images First, a TV company, and three academic colleagues today in the journal Nature.

"The Antikythera Mechanism is of crucial importance for the history of science and technology," he adds. " It tells us of a revolution in human thought in ancient Greece - the earliest known example of a machine for making calculations, of a machine for predicting the future."

The first clues that suggested a link with Greek games came when the word 'NEMEA' was read by the team near a small subsidiary dial.

This was a reference to the site of the Nemean Games, one of the prominent 'crown' games, which were part of a four year cycle that climaxed with the Olympic Games, the most ancient and prestigious of all.

Other names followed, 'ISTHMIA' for the games at Corinth, 'PYTHIA' for the games at Delphi and finally the hard-to-read 'OLYMPIA' for the Olympics.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: antikythera; antikytheramechanism; godsgravesglyphs; greece

1 posted on 07/31/2008 8:14:50 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
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To: bruinbirdman
Not being a thread nanny, but this subject did come up earlier today:

2 posted on 07/31/2008 8:19:02 PM PDT by Steely Tom (Without the second, the rest are just politicians' BS.)
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To: potlatch


History Channel stuff

3 posted on 07/31/2008 8:28:13 PM PDT by devolve ( "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it." - Elect a cokehead *08 !)
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To: SunkenCiv
Like, *PING*, dude.


4 posted on 07/31/2008 8:57:28 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: bruinbirdman
In a companion piece, on the same subject, that the article had a link to, there was a quote:

Prof Edmunds said: "It makes you wonder what they would have achieved if the Romans hadn't taken over and put a stop to things. Would they have had a man on the Moon by AD300?

Maybe the "Prof" is not a professor in History, or maybe he's just a typical Marxist professor with an antipathy to anything "Roman"; yet, he is in error to impute that after Rome conquered Phillip the Macedonian and made Greece a province that they "put a stop to things"; it's simply not true. Whatever "science" the Greeks quit advancing in had taken place before the Roman's "took over" and whatever science the Greeks were still advancing in continued afterward. The Roman's may have considered the Greeks as weak and as a threat, politically and militarily, but the Greek Language and its arts and sciences were held in high esteem by the Romans.

Consider also the purpose and motive behind the fantastically engineered device - what the Greek inventor designed it for. It, the design, may have demonstrated great engineering, but, to modern humans it also would appear to lack practical priorities in terms of what such an accomplishment could achieve. I think the purpose of the device demonstrates that regardless of its engineering, the impetus for amassing that feat in superbly practical ways did not exist in Greek motives, and therefore, as great as it was it lacked the kind of purpose from which technological advances to spaceflight would develop.

5 posted on 07/31/2008 9:20:12 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Wuli

Good points all around. I’d add, though, that, given the character of the Attic Greeks, if they could have developed a rocket to take them to the moon, they would have, though they may never have taken the flight. Just developing it for the intellectual exercise and amusement would have sufficed.

The Romans did not put a stop to Greek thought. They admired the Greeks and adopted their intellectual culture for their own. What killed Greek development was infighting among the states. By the time Plato was discussing the ideal state, theirs was already at the threshold of being conquered from without because of their fighting from within. Such internal strife kills enthusiasm and progress. Much as we are beginning to see within our own country between the left and the right. The fighting, while appearing dynamic and energetic, actually has a stagnating effect. The Left knows this. That is why they constantly push the leftist envelope, knowing that when the right lives up to their reactionary reputation, they are so busy with the tug of war, the masses give up hope of any real progress.

6 posted on 07/31/2008 9:32:30 PM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (If Hillary is elected, her legacy will be telling the American people: Better put some ice on that.)
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To: grey_whiskers

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

There's another topic from yesterday on these latest findings, plus oodles of older topics regarding this fascinating piece of machinery. Thanks grey_whiskers.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·

7 posted on 07/31/2008 9:57:21 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ( updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: devolve

yeah,but it is amazing in its construction.

8 posted on 07/31/2008 10:32:14 PM PDT by coalman (type to slow to be relevant,but I try)
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To: bruinbirdman
Lots and lots of speculations and guesses, but no real understanding.

The mechanism has been available for almost 100 years.

It has been examined, X-rayed and viewed from every possible angle and yet...

No one has yet attempted, or even suggested that the entire mechanism be reproduced by modern methods, and actually to see what it can do, rather than spin fanciful and increasingly moonbat theories about it...

9 posted on 08/01/2008 10:02:11 AM PDT by Publius6961 (You're Government, it's not your money, and you never have to show a profit.)
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To: bruinbirdman

My great, great, great, great grand son dropped that thing during one of his time trips to study Greek history. The truth will be headlined in every news outlet on Feb 10, 2118. Y’all just wait and see!

10 posted on 08/01/2008 11:46:29 AM PDT by Islander7 ("Show me an honest politician and I will show you a case of mistaken identity.")
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