Ancient Discoveries – The Antikythera Machine

During ancient times, people experienced less stressful lifestyles because life was much simpler without the advancements in Information Technology (IT). At the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea however lied the most advanced piece of invention that would eventually prove that the world could have been more developed than most of us would want to believe. The technologies being thought of as modern could have been discovered quite a while back. In a span of 200 years, the inventions that we see in modern life may have already taken place and hence what is happening today may just be the rediscovery and polishing of the laid down facts.

Ancient Greeks and Romans were the most influential and wealthy people of that time. A complex and mysterious machine found deep in the Mediterranean Sea is actually believed to have been owned by one of them. It was discovered by a captain in the spring of the year 1900 when he dived 200 feet under water. Many other equipment and ornaments were discovered which included sculptures and statues which were first believed to be dead bodies. This merchandise was believed to have been en route to a rich Roman oligarch but the cargo ship in which the merchandise was being transported, got into the path of a storm and sank. 2000 years later, many treasures have been discovered but what still stands out is the Antikythera device which is believed to be the most advanced piece of technology that would have existed at that time.

The Antikythera is documented to be the work of a highly educated and inquisitive mind which was in the hunt to understand what the world is all about. Upon further scrutiny, it was found out to be a sundial which was in line with the calendar and also had the ability to track the movements of the sun and the moon. Since the actual device was disintegrated, a model of it was restructured and it proved to also contain the age of the moon going round the zodiac. The model though had 8 gear wheels while the Antikythera had 29 gear wheels thus raising the question as to what the other gears were for. Archimedes is believed to have been the one behind the invention since he was the only person who fits the description of an expert in mathematics and engineering.

Archimedes had the passion to identify how he would accurately measure distances and know what caused the rising of the sun, the changing of seasons and the movement of the moon. In Egypt, the Klepsydra (Hourglass) was being used as the device to measure duration and the water clock just became an improved version of it. In 1951, x-ray research on the Antikythera was done and as the teeth on the gears suggested, it was a complex device that had been used to track the sun and moon movements as well as determine days of the month. This then proved that the Antikythera was a complex counting device much so like a computer which could give accurate data.

To this day, the public tower clock in Athens still stands as proof of the work that had been laid down by Archimedes and other great philosophers and scientists. This shows that much of science can be mostly a re-invention of previous works of geniuses.

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