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Antikythera; Enigma wrapped in mystery- astonishing.

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Skyhook, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Skyhook

    Skyhook

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    http://www.scientificamerican.com/video.cfm?lineup=1406165298&id=52209781001

    The Antikythera Device
    More than meets the eye!
    ShareThis
    6:26 AM, Jan 12, 2010 ·
    BY Jonathan V. Last
    Yesterday io9 carried a fantastic story on the Antikythera machine, a bit of ancient tech that's becoming more and more interesting:

    In 1900, some divers found the wreck of a Roman vessel off the Greek island of Antikythera. Among the other treasures remanded to the Greek government was an unassuming corroded lump. Some time later, the lump fell apart, revealing a damaged machine of unknown purpose, with some large gears and many smaller cogs, plus a few engraved words in Greek. Early studies suggested it was some type of astronomical time-keeping device . . .

    But that was just the start. New x-ray scans and 3D models have shown that the Antikythera was more--much more:

    Using nothing but an ingenious system of gears, the mechanism could be used to predict the month, day and hour of an eclipse, and even accounted for leap years. It could also predict the positions of the sun and moon against the zodiac, and has a gear train that turns a black and white stone to show the moon's phase on a given date. It is possible that it could also show the astronomical positions of the planets known to the ancients: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

    All of this was accomplished by turning a crank on the side of the box. And this thing was built around 150 years before Christ. And that's just the starting point:

    The true genius of the mechanism goes beyond even the complex calculations and craftsmanship of a mechanical calendar. For example, the ancients didn't know that the moon has an elliptical orbit, so they didn't know why it sometimes slowed or sped up as it moved through the zodiac. The mechanism's creator used epicyclic gears, also known as planetary gears, with a "pin-and-slot" mechanism that mimicked this apparent shifting in the moon's movement.

    Like Stonehenge, the Antikythera is one of those things that just shouldn't exist."
    (Taken from www.theweeklystandard.com/blog )
     
  2. Jake Starr

    Jake Starr

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    Seems the more we know, the more we don't know...amazing story.
     

  3. TacticalBling

    TacticalBling

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    Astounding. I've been studying astrolabes and similar ancient instruments, and to think they developed something like this in the Ancient World...a real testament to the ingenuity of mankind.

    Thanks for the link, Skyhook! :thumbsup:
     
  4. jmb79

    jmb79

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    Quite remarkable. Thanks for sharing the story and the link. I very much enjoyed the videos.
     
  5. macville

    macville

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    Imagine what they could have done if they had harnessed electricity! We could all be flying in own space crafts like the jetsons! And we could have had all this global warming crap spouted for the last 1,000 years also!;)

    Matthew
     
  6. DaGroaner

    DaGroaner Anti-Socialist

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    I wonder if it hits a hard stop on December 21, 2012?
     
  7. fgutie35

    fgutie35

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    If you read on the Sumarians, you will know that they were very advanced in astronomy and they knew things that we didn't know until the 18th or 19th century. In relation to how the Universe works and the calendar, I would suggest reading the book of "Enoch" when he is being explained by the angels how everything "works" on earth, as well as in heaven.
     
  8. eisman

    eisman ARGH! CLM

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    For more on this amazing "computer" read "Decoding the Heavens"; the latest book on the subject.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/030681742X/ref=ox_ya_oh_product

    Amazingly, it's totally without ancient astronauts, vistors from other worlds, or any other fiction that dismisses the abilities of mankind to solve problems on its own.

    The "ancients" did, indeed, know that the moon has an eliptical orbit. That knowledge has, like much else, been lost several times as the various civilizations on Earth rose and fell.
     
  9. TacticalBling

    TacticalBling

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    Which would mean not only does mankind have tremendous potential for learning and discovery, but also an equally monumental ability to backslide into barbarism and lose all that knowledge.

    Thanks for the cheery thought, eisman! :tongueout:
     
  10. Skyhook

    Skyhook

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    :cheers:
     
  11. Chad Landry

    Chad Landry Cajunator® CLM

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    It's a shame the poor bastards didn't have central AC and heating.
     
  12. Carrys

    Carrys Inquisitive

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    The "ancients" did have a lot of knowledge at hand. Trouble was, every king had his hired "smart guy" to make this things and he kept them hidden from his "enemies".

    And thus that stayed hidden from us as well.

    These men were as smart as we are, they just didn't have the science or resources to back them up. It no real surprise that they had things of this nature in their bag of tricks.