In these last years it has been revealed the enigma that has lasted for more than 2000 years.
The Antikythera mechanism is an artifact dating from the second century BC, in wood and bronze, containing more than 30 gears, and found by some divers during a campaign on an ancient shipwreck off the island of Antikythera (south of the Peloponnese – Greece). from the discovery to the present, we try to shed light on this mysterious artifact, which in effect seems to be the oldest computer ever found.
In the last years, research seem to demonstrate that the object is much more complex and advanced than previously believed.
A detailed study focused on the gears reveals how it has been able to track astronomical movements with remarkable accuracy. The mechanism was able to reproduce the movements of the Sun and Moon through the zodiac, to predict eclipses and even to reproduce the irregular orbit of the Moon. The researcher team, Prof. Mike Edmunds and the mathematician Dr. Tony Freeth, suggest that Greek technology was far more advanced than previously believed until a few years ago.
No other civilization has never achieved anything more complex for over 1000 years. “This mechanism is quite extraordinary and unique. The design is very nice and calculations which made are remarkably accurate. The way in which the gears are made leaves us literally speechless. Who made the Antikythera mechanism did so with extreme accuracy, “said Professor Edmunds.
The team was composed by researchers at Cardiff University , at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens , and at the University of Athens and Thessaloniki. Researchers have also been funded by the financial support of the Leverhulme Trust . The researchers have also been helped by the firm Hertfordshire X-Tek, who developed powerful computer for X-ray technologies. Their support was employed to analyze the corroded gears. A super computer (Hewlett-Packard) has also supplied the technology for detailed imaging of the find surface.
The mechanism is composed by 70 pieces and kept under controlled environmental conditions. In order to reproduce its operations, astronomers, mathematicians, computer scientists, analysts script and conservation experts have been involved.
Now, researchers hope to develop a computer model that simulates the operations of the Antikythera mechanism and later to build a real replica of the instrument.
It is still uncertain for what reason the ancient Greeks used the instrument or how widespread were this technology.