Download A Portable Cosmos: Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, by Alexander Jones PDF

By Alexander Jones

ISBN-10: 019973934X

ISBN-13: 9780199739349

From the useless Sea Scrolls to the Terracotta military, old artifacts have lengthy interested the fashionable international. although, the significance of a few discoveries isn't really continually instantly understood. This used to be the case in 1901 whilst sponge divers retrieved a lump of corroded bronze from a shipwreck on the backside of the Mediterranean Sea close to the Greek island of Antikythera. Little did the divers comprehend that they had stumbled on the oldest recognized analog laptop on this planet, an unbelievable machine that after simulated the motions of the celebs and planets as they have been understood through historical Greek astronomers. Its continues to be now include eighty two fragments, lots of them containing gears and plates engraved with Greek phrases, that scientists and students have pieced again jointly via painstaking inspection and deduction, aided by means of radiographic instruments and floor imaging. greater than a century after its discovery, some of the secrets and techniques locked during this mysterious equipment can now be published.

In addition to chronicling the not likely discovery of the Antikythera Mechanism, writer Alexander Jones takes readers via a dialogue of the way the gadget labored, how and for what function it was once created, and why it used to be on a boat that wrecked off the Greek coast round 60 BC. What the Mechanism has exposed approximately Greco-Roman astronomy and medical expertise, and their position in Greek society, is really remarkable. The mechanical information that it embodied was once extra complicated than something the Greeks have been formerly notion in a position to, however the newest learn has published that its monitors have been designed in order that an informed layman may comprehend the habit of astronomical phenomena, and the way intertwined they have been with one's usual and social setting. It was once instantly a masterpiece of equipment in addition to one of many first transportable instructing units. Written by means of a world-renowned professional at the Mechanism, A moveable Cosmos will fascinate all readers attracted to old heritage, archaeology, and the background of science.

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Additional resources for A Portable Cosmos: Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, Scientific Wonder of the Ancient World

Example text

But one can understand why the minister was unimpressed by what they were finding. 4. The sponge divers, officers, and crew of the Mykali, and delegation from the Ministry of Education on board the Mykali, February 1901. Spyridon Stais stands on the upper deck, between the ropes, wearing a fedora and with his hand on the head of one of the divers; to the right of him, also in a fedora and with one hand on the rail, is Kavvadias. Directly below Stais, in a wide-​brimmed hat, is Fotios Lindiakos, and to the left of Lindiakos and immediately left of the ropes is Kontos.

It would seem, therefore, that the object as brought out of the sea had a different appearance; it was likely an aggregate comprising several of the pieces as they were later known, and the mechanical components were still hidden inside. Wishing to get a better sense of whether there was any point in prolonging the divers’ search, Stais himself arrived at the site on July 30 on board the Mykali. He was sufficiently encouraged by the finds that had been made earlier that summer—​in a telegram to Athens he singled out the bronze statuette and a marble horse’s head, but not a word about the inscribed slab—​to authorize the work to continue for a few more weeks.

The Mykali turned out to be too large to get close to the site, limiting its ability to help with raising objects—​in the future, smaller navy vessels, the steamship 8 8 A Portable Cosmos (a) (b) FIG. 3. The late-​third-​century BC bronze head of the “philosopher” (National Archaeological Museum X 13400), before and after cleaning. (Svoronos 1903a, 29 and plate III) Syros (joined by a freighter with a crane) and the torpedo boat Aigialeia, would do this work, while the Mykali returned from time to time to bring artifacts to Athens and carry archeologists and other officials back and forth.

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