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Antikythera Archimedean Mechanism Solid Brass Dial of Destiny Indiana Jones Style Watch with Metallic Dial

ANTYK-01

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  • The Antikythera Mechanism: an ancient Greek machine rewriting the history of technology - An astronomical calculating machine
  • Please note that this is a time only watch, the other "Archimidean" hydraulic functions are not real nor functional
  • 40 mm large size solid brass casing with stainless steel caseback
  • Premium Citizen Miyota 2040 quartz movement, with high-performance long-lasting Sony batteries.
  • 22 mm waterproof vegan leather bracelet with brass buckle
  • original art on metal dial
  • American pinewood presentation pillowed keepsake box

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he Antikythera mechanism (/ˌæntɪˈkɪθɪərə/ AN-tih-KIH-ther-ə) is an Ancient Greek hand-powered orrery (model of the Solar System), described as the oldest known example of an analogue computer[1][2][3] used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses decades in advance.[4][5][6] It could also be used to track the four-year cycle of athletic games similar to an Olympiad, the cycle of the ancient Olympic Games.[7][8][9]

This artefact was among wreckage retrieved from a shipwreck off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera in 1901.[10][11] In 1902, it was identified by archaeologist Valerios Stais[12] as containing a gear. The device, housed in the remains of a wooden-framed case of (uncertain) overall size 34 cm × 18 cm × 9 cm (13.4 in × 7.1 in × 3.5 in),[13][14] was found as one lump, later separated into three main fragments which are now divided into 82 separate fragments after conservation efforts. Four of these fragments contain gears, while inscriptions are found on many others.[13][14] The largest gear is about 13 cm (5 in) in diameter and originally had 223 teeth.[15] All these fragments of the mechanism are kept at the National Archaeological Museum, Athens, along with reconstructions and replicas,[16][17] to demonstrate how it may have looked and worked.[18]

In 2005, a team from Cardiff University used computer x-ray tomography and high resolution scanning to image inside fragments of the crust-encased mechanism and read the faintest inscriptions that once covered the outer casing. This suggests it had 37 meshing bronze gears enabling it to follow the movements of the Moon and the Sun through the zodiac, to predict eclipses and to model the irregular orbit of the Moon, where the Moon's velocity is higher in its perigee than in its apogee. This motion was studied in the 2nd century BC by astronomer Hipparchus of Rhodes, and he may have been consulted in the machine's construction.[19] There is speculation that a portion of the mechanism is missing and it calculated the positions of the five classical planets. The inscriptions were further deciphered in 2016, revealing numbers connected with the synodic cycles of Venus and Saturn.[20][21]

The instrument is believed to have been designed and constructed by Hellenistic scientists and been variously dated to about 87 BC,[22] between 150 and 100 BC,[4] or 205 BC.[23][24] It must have been constructed before the shipwreck, which has been dated by multiple lines of evidence to approximately 70–60 BC.[25][26] In 2022 researchers proposed its initial calibration date, not construction date, could have been 23 December 178 BC. Other experts propose 204 BC as a more likely calibration date.[27][28] Machines with similar complexity did not appear again until the astronomical clocks of Richard of Wallingford in the 14th century.[29]

History[edit]

Discovery[edit]

240px-DerekdeSollaPrice.jpgDerek J. de Solla Price (1922–1983) with a model of the Antikythera mechanism

Captain Dimitrios Kontos (Δημήτριος Κοντός) and a crew of sponge divers from Symi island discovered the Antikythera wreck in early 1900, and recovered artefacts during the first expedition with the Hellenic Royal Navy, in 1900–01.[30] This wreck of a Roman cargo ship was found at a depth of 45 metres (148 ft) off Point Glyphadia on the Greek island of Antikythera. The team retrieved numerous large objects, including bronze and marble statues, pottery, unique glassware, jewellery, coins, and the mechanism. The mechanism was retrieved from the wreckage in 1901, probably July.[31] It is unknown how the mechanism came to be on the cargo ship.

All of the items retrieved from the wreckage were transferred to the National Museum of Archaeology in Athens for storage and analysis. The mechanism appeared to be a lump of corroded bronze and wood; it went unnoticed for two years, while museum staff worked on piecing together more obvious treasures, such as the statues.[29] Upon removal from seawater, the mechanism was not treated, resulting in deformational changes.[32]

On 17 May 1902, archaeologist Valerios Stais found one of the pieces of rock had a gear wheel embedded in it. He initially believed that it was an astronomical clock, but most scholars considered the device to be prochronistic, too complex to have been constructed during the same period as the other pieces that had been discovered.

German philosopher Albert Rehm became interested in the device; he was the first to propose that it was an astronomical calculator.[33][34]

Investigations into the object lapsed until British science historian and Yale University professor Derek J. de Solla Price became interested in 1951.[35][36] In 1971, Price and Greek nuclear physicist Charalampos Karakalos made X-ray and gamma-ray images of the 82 fragments. Price published a paper on their findings in 1974.[11]

Two other searches for items at the Antikythera wreck site in 2012 and 2015 yielded art objects and a second ship which may, or may not, be connected with the treasure ship on which the mechanism was found.[37] Also found was a bronze disc, embellished with the image of a bull. The disc has four "ears" which have holes in them, and it was thought it may have been part of the Antikythera mechanism, as a "cog wheel". There appears to be little evidence that it was part of the mechanism; it is more likely the disc was a bronze decoration on a piece of furniture.[38]

Origin[edit]

The Antikythera mechanism is generally referred to as the first known analogue computer.[39] The quality and complexity of the mechanism's manufacture suggests it must have had undiscovered predecessors during the Hellenistic period.[40] Its construction relied on theories of astronomy and mathematics developed by Greek astronomers during the second century BC, and it is estimated to have been built in the late second century BC[4] or the early first century BC.[41][5]

In 2008, research by the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project suggested the concept for the mechanism may have originated in the colonies of Corinth, since they identified the calendar on the Metonic Spiral as coming from Corinth, or one of its colonies in northwest Greece or Sicily.[7] Syracuse was a colony of Corinth and the home of Archimedes, and the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project argued in 2008 that it might imply a connection with the school of Archimedes.[7] It was demonstrated in 2017 that the calendar on the Metonic Spiral is of the Corinthian type, but cannot be that of Syracuse.[42] Another theory suggests that coins found by Jacques Cousteau at the wreck site in the 1970s date to the time of the device's construction, and posits that its origin may have been from the ancient Greek city of Pergamon,[43] home of the Library of Pergamum. With its many scrolls of art and science, it was second in importance only to the Library of Alexandria during the Hellenistic period.[44]

The ship carrying the device contained vases in the Rhodian style, leading to a hypothesis that it was constructed at an academy founded by Stoic philosopher Posidonius on that Greek island.[45] Rhodes was a busy trading port and centre of astronomy and mechanical engineering, home to astronomer Hipparchus, who was active from about 140-120 BC. The mechanism uses Hipparchus' theory for the motion of the Moon, which suggests he may have designed or at least worked on it.[29] It has been argued the astronomical events on the Parapegma of the mechanism work best for latitudes in the range of 33.3–37.0 degrees north;[46] the island of Rhodes is located between the latitudes of 35.85 and 36.50 degrees north.

In 2014, a study argued for a new dating of approximately 200 BC, based on identifying the start-up date on the Saros Dial, as the astronomical lunar month that began shortly after the new moon of 28 April 205 BC.[23][24] According to this theory the Babylonian arithmetic style of prediction fits much better with the device's predictive models than the traditional Greek trigonometric style.[23] A study by Iversen in 2017 reasons that the prototype for the device was from Rhodes, but that this particular model was modified for a client from Epirus in northwestern Greece; Iversen argues it was probably constructed no earlier than a generation before the shipwreck, a date supported by Jones in 2017.[47]

Further dives were undertaken in 2014 and 2015, in the hope of discovering more of the mechanism.[24] A five-year programme of investigations began in 2014 and ended in October 2019, with a new five-year session starting in May 2020.[48][49]

In 2022 researchers proposed the mechanism's initial calibration date, not construction date, could have been 23 December 178 BC. Other experts propose 204 BC as a more likely calibration date.[27][28] Machines with similar complexity did not appear again until the astronomical clocks of Richard of Wallingford and Giovanni de' Dondi in the fourteenth century.[29]

Design[edit]

The original mechanism apparently came out of the Mediterranean as a single encrusted piece. Soon afterwards it fractured into three major pieces. Other small pieces have broken off in the interim from cleaning and handling,[50] and others were found on the sea floor by the Cousteau expedition. Other fragments may still be in storage, undiscovered since their initial recovery; Fragment F was discovered in that way in 2005. Of the 82 known fragments, seven are mechanically significant and contain the majority of the mechanism and inscriptions. Another 16 smaller parts contain fractional and incomplete inscriptions

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Antikythera Archimedean Mechanism Solid Brass Dial of Destiny Indiana Jones Style Watch with Metallic Dial

Antikythera Archimedean Mechanism Solid Brass Dial of Destiny Indiana Jones Style Watch with Metallic Dial

  • The Antikythera Mechanism: an ancient Greek machine rewriting the history of technology - An astronomical calculating machine
  • Please note that this is a time only watch, the other "Archimidean" hydraulic functions are not real nor functional
  • 40 mm large size solid brass casing with stainless steel caseback
  • Premium Citizen Miyota 2040 quartz movement, with high-performance long-lasting Sony batteries.
  • 22 mm waterproof vegan leather bracelet with brass buckle
  • original art on metal dial
  • American pinewood presentation pillowed keepsake box