Antikythera Computer

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Post by Kaere on Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:59 pm

http://www.iflscience.com/technology/ancient-computer-even-more-ancient

The astonishing Antikythera mechanism is even older than previously suspected, new research suggests. Instead of being "1500 years ahead of its time," it may have been closer to 1800.

The mechanism was found in 1901 in the wreck of a ship that sank in the Aegean Sea around 60 BC. Though its origins are unknown, it could be used to calculate astronomical motion, making it a sort of forerunner to computers.

The sheer sophistication of the device makes it mysterious, being more advanced than any known instrument of its day – or for centuries thereafter. Even with parts missing after spending such a long time in the briny deep, it was examined to have at least 30 gears. This is perhaps why for many, it represents the pinnacle of technology of the ancient world and what was lost during the Dark Ages.

If devices such as this had survived, Kepler might have found the task of explaining the orbits of the planets far easier to achieve. Although the makers likely would not have understood why the moon slowed down and sped up in its orbit, they were sufficiently aware of the phenomenon. In fact, the mechanism mimics it precisely.

One of the mechanism's functions was to predict eclipses, and a study of these dials indicates it was operating on a calender starting from 205 BC.

Estimates of the mechanism's date of manufacture have gradually been pushed back, starting with the year in which it sank. The device was housed in a box, which has engravings dated to 80 to 90BC, but the lettering appears consistent with a date of 100 to 150BC.

However, in The Archive of History of Exact Sciences, Dr. Christian Carman of Argentina's National University of Quilmes and Dr. James Evans of the University of Puget Sound believe they have identified the solar eclipse that occurs in the 13th month of the mechanism's calender. If so, this would make its start date, when the dials are set to zero, May 205BC.

Carman and Evans add, “We also examine some possibilities for the theory that underlies the eclipse times on the Saros dial and find that a Babylonian-style arithmetical scheme employing an equation of center and daily velocities would match the inscribed times of day quite well. Indeed, an arithmetic scheme for the eclipse times matches the evidence somewhat better than does a trigonometric model.”

While the device might theoretically have been built with a starting date set many years before its construction, doing so would have reduced its usefulness. Precise as the mechanism is, errors naturally accumulate, reducing its accuracy and suggesting its makers would not have wanted to start it too far in the past.

Speculation about the origins of the Mechanism has often focused on Archimedes, if not as the inventor then at least as the inspiration for its creation. However, the Babylonia influence makes this unlikely, despite the starting date being just seven years after his murder.

To gain some idea of the Antikythera mechansim's complexity, consider this Lego recreation. (I included it below Smile)


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Post by Monk (in hiding) on Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:54 pm

So much for stone age people. lsol

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Post by Rogue on Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:00 pm


I read this a couple of days ago, pretty cool! I like the video too, thanks for posting Kaere.
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Post by Rockhopper on Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:29 pm

It's fascinating and shows that our ancestors were not the dumb idiots that people think they were. 

It show too that our ancestors were very capable of making very intricate things. This is shown in some of the jewellery made by our ancestors too.

What it is for no-one is sure but it could be a astrological computer.

Tim.
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Post by Kaere on Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:47 pm

VM, what are you on about "stone age people"? 205 BC is hardly the stone age. I am of the understanding that the stone age ended around 6000 BC (give or take and depending on location).

I saw it a few days ago too Rogue but I kept it allll to myself for a bit heehee.

I agree Rockhopper, there does tend to be this idea that they were cretins standing about grunting at each other. What complete tosh.
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Post by Agartha on Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:23 am

I want that Lego set!!

Stone age was between 2000 BC and 6000 BC so this is definitely not stone age.

I'd love to know who invented this ancient computer..... I know it's based on Babilonian Maths and Astronomy, but who built it? The Greeks?
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Post by Monk (in hiding) on Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:27 am

@Kaere wrote:VM, what are you on about "stone age people"? 205 BC is hardly the stone age. I am of the understanding that the stone age ended around 6000 BC (give or take and depending on location).

I saw it a few days ago too Rogue but I kept it allll to myself for a bit heehee.

I agree Rockhopper, there does tend to be this idea that they were cretins standing about grunting at each other. What complete tosh.

Yeah, stone age to this..........

Antikythera Computer Baalbek

Wakeup!

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Post by Monk (in hiding) on Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:28 am

@Agartha wrote:I want that Lego set!!

Stone age was between 2000 BC and 6000 BC so this is definitely not stone age.

I'd love to know who invented this ancient computer..... I know it's based on Babilonian Maths and Astronomy, but who built it? The Greeks?

More misinformation.........

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Post by Agartha on Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:08 am

Ω wrote:
@Agartha wrote:I want that Lego set!!

Stone age was between 2000 BC and 6000 BC so this is definitely not stone age.

I'd love to know who invented this ancient computer..... I know it's based on Babilonian Maths and Astronomy, but who built it? The Greeks?

More misinformation.........

Go on.... enlighten us then.....
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Post by Monk (in hiding) on Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:19 am

Ha!

CIVILIZATIONS RETREAT AS WELL AS ADVANCE

Such societies as the people of the Indus, the Ancient Egyptians and the Sumerians, who all lived around 3,000 BCE, possessed cultures incomparably richer in all respects than that of these present-day tribes, and even than that of societies more advanced. This means that in all periods of history, societies with highly advanced civilizations have been able to survive together with more backward ones. A society that existed thousands of years ago may actually have advanced much further than one in the 20th century. This demonstrates that there has been no development within an evolutionary process—in other words, from the primitive to the civilized.

http://www.thestoneage.org/stone_age_01.php

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Post by Agartha on Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:59 am

I can't read the whole article, too long, but yes, I agree: our ancestors were amazingly clever.

Unfortunately some religions did bring certain societies to the dark ages.... and some amazing knowledge was  lost forever, the evidence destroyed and people forbidden from stepping over religious boundaries.
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Post by Monk (in hiding) on Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:18 am

Library of Alexandria?

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Post by Rockhopper on Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:29 pm

Yep that was of many such destructions. The Catholic Church destroyed many "Heretical" books and scrolls too.

Antikythera Computer Gear_Anim

Chief among the finds was what has become known as the Antikythera Mechanism, fragile chunks of green corroded bronze, that when picked apart, revealed unexpected mechanical components, mainly gears. The device was surprisingly complex. At first it was thought to be a clock, but when Greek inscriptions were found, it turned out to be a sort of astrolabe for predicting eclipses and moon phases and the positions of the planets, of unprecedented sophistication. So sophisticated, in fact, that everything we knew told us that the Antikythera Mechanism was a full 1,000 years out of place.

The shipwreck, known as the Antikythera Wreck, has been dated to the first century BCE. The Antikythera Mechanism dates from the century before that. And then, so the popular version of the story goes, nobody on Earth had either the astronomical knowledge, nor the mechanical know-how, to construct such a device until a millennium later. Some have said the Antikythera Mechanism is therefore proof of time travel, alien visitation, or Atlantis.

Physically, the device was about the size of a shoebox, with wooden sides and bronze faces. On the front face were two large and three small output dials. On the back were three concentric output dials. To operate the device, you turned a crank on the side which rotated at least 30 gears inside the machine, some of which were epicyclic. The hands that went round each of the two large dials swept over spiral slots, with a pin on the arm that rode in the slot, similar to a needle following the groove on a record. By setting some preferences, such as what type of calendar you wanted to use, and turning the side crank to select the current date, you could learn all sorts of things: Whether this was an Olympics year, when the next solar and lunar eclipses were (by date and hour), where the twelve constellations were along the ecliptic, the phase of the moon, and the positions of the five planets known at the time.

From Here.

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Post by Rockhopper on Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:34 pm

Ω wrote:
@Agartha wrote:I want that Lego set!!

Stone age was between 2000 BC and 6000 BC so this is definitely not stone age.

I'd love to know who invented this ancient computer..... I know it's based on Babilonian Maths and Astronomy, but who built it? The Greeks?

More misinformation.........

Enlighten us VM/Omega. Back it with verifiable evidence though.

Otherwise it's just your opinion.

Tim.
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Post by Monk (in hiding) on Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:55 pm

@Rockhopper wrote:
Ω wrote:
@Agartha wrote:I want that Lego set!!

Stone age was between 2000 BC and 6000 BC so this is definitely not stone age.

I'd love to know who invented this ancient computer..... I know it's based on Babilonian Maths and Astronomy, but who built it? The Greeks?

More misinformation.........

Enlighten us VM/Omega. Back it with verifiable evidence though.

Otherwise it's just your opinion.

Tim.

How about you do the same, verifiable evidence! No theories, unequitable proven facts!

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