Saturday , August 20 2022

Antikithera anticlimact: An ancient computer excitement case too much anticipation


He fell to the seabed after the ship he was carrying, destroyed on rocks some 2200 years ago. It was one of the great wonders of the ancient world. And we had no idea what it was until 50 years after the divers were discovered again in 1901.

It's a great machine.

It is a mechanism of bronze gears and levers used to predict the phases of the Sun and the Moon.

It may even be far more complex – also able to calculate the flow point and star through the night sky.

As such, it was a "machine for the division".

A hands-on calculator, using priests, prophets and observers so that the audience with full predictions of the upcoming sunny weather – and the evil heavenly alignments.

So … how powerful is he?

An analog computer fascinated the generation of computer entrepreneurs. So, a series of expeditions, so that the small island Antikithera between Greece and Crete was funded to see if more fragments of the mysterious device could be recovered.

One exciting piece was found on land during an expedition last year.

A large ornamented bronze disk, about 8 cm wide.

Now, new article in the Israeli publication Haaretz she sent her eyebrow predictor around the world.

She declared that it was a lost teeth from the Anikithera mechanism itself. And, as he was wearing the bull's mark – Taurus – it shows that the machine was more complex than many of the oral dreams.

But … not so fast.

The bronze fragment of Antikithra machines displays precisely detailed budget wheels on the front panel of the device.
Camera iconThe bronze fragment of Antikithra machines displays precisely detailed budget wheels on the front panel of the device.The painting: Delivered


Since 2012, Antikithera divers return to Antikithera to overtake steep underwater cliffs for more treasures.

The Jean-Jackues Cousteau researchers severely damaged the wrecks of the 1970s when they pulled out a multitude of marble and bronze statues from the seabed. What remains is scattered or has fallen even deeper.

However, the bronze disc seemed promising. She had four elongations, big tooth teeth, arranged at regular intervals.

Rendgen bronze plates were found at the site of Antikithera shipwreck, left and the reconstruction of its appearance.
Camera iconRendgen bronze plates were found at the site of Antikithera shipwreck, left and the reconstruction of its appearance.The painting: Delivered

Since then, X-ray has been shot and scanned.

It was found to be engraved with an image. Is this Taurus, a star constellation and one of the zodiac signs?

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The engineers and mathematicians tried to understand the complexity of the Antikithra mechanism because it became a metal machine, not the 50s of the last century.

Many attempted to reconstruct the mounting of gears, wheels and handles.

What is known is that they were made by the Greeks and used the Babylonian calendar and observations of the stars to calculate the movement of the Sun and the Moon to predict carrots and balances. There are also extraordinary clues to keep track of the movement of the planets and constellations.

If it is true, it would be incredible. The combination of such advanced astronomical studies, mathematics and mechanical translation would be something that no longer reached 500 years.

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The new disc, if it belonged to the device, could confirm its ability to predict the position of groups of stars so important for priests and observers of the era.

But not.

Reconstruction of the possible configuration of the Antikithra mechanism.
Camera iconReconstruction of the possible configuration of the Antikithra mechanism.The painting: Nevs Corp Australia


Archaeologists quickly pointed out that the new report exaggerated the importance of the bronze disc.

But the vast expectation of anything about the mysterious ancient device was that the article circulated quickly and widely … even by experts who should know better.

What the new disc was actually unknown.

However, it is unlikely that the plate with an engraved plate will be part of the complex work of the device. If there are four teeth extensions, they are unusually raw for such a complex device. Most likely, they were practical accessories for any disc that was embellished.

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At best, a bik-disk could be an ornamental part attached to the Antikither mechanism. But, it is probably decorated with several long-blown wood panels, or even priests.

In the meantime, the hunt for more parts of the mechanism continues.

The internal device of the Antikither device was exposed to X-rays.
Camera iconThe internal device of the Antikither device was exposed to X-rays.The painting: Delivered

How much is a zigzag made from the original device is not known. But conclusions based on positions and phases that are related to parts already encountered in any of the 37 to 70 years. Others claim that there could be two different types on board, with their components becoming mixed up.

In any case, the precision of production that is necessary for the operation of such a mechanism is enormous: a lightweight bucket in only one plug can throw out its calculations or stumble it.

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