Among the massive ancient monuments, temples, even cities, archaeologists often discover unexpected mysterious ancient artifacts that go beyond our knowledge and understanding of the past. One such item is the Antikythera Mechanism which is often referred to as the world’s most ancient computer.
This absolute “technological” wonder of the ancient world was once used for astronomical purposes such as predicting astronomical events years or even decades in advance and following the movement of cosmic objects.
The Antikythera Mechanism has baffled experts for nearly 120 years now and although we have a general idea of its ancient purposes, many questions remain. I think we all know what those questions are and since we do not have a precise answer, let’s move on to some fresh discoveries.
A Discovery Contrary To What Is Known About The Antikythera Mechanism
This latest chapter in the research of the Antikythera Mechanism was conducted by a rather unexpected group of researchers through the creation of a complete replica of the original artifact and extensive mathematical calculations.
For decades, it has been thought that the outer calendar ring on the Antikythera Mechanism was a presentation of the Egyptian Civil Calendar which had 365 days.
The extensive research conducted by the small team in addition to the careful re-creation of the entire Antikythera Mechanism has led to the discovery that the calendar ring was not referring to a 365-day calendar but instead, to a 354-day lunar calendar.
The inaccuracy in the construction or more precisely the discrepancy of the inter-hole distance between each of the holes has been noted in the past. Even in the early periods of research, there are opinions that this is not an annual calendar like the one we know, but as you can see, it takes more than 100 years to find enough evidence.
To a large extent, the problem with the proper study of the Antikythera Mechanism is the lack of high-quality photos. It was only about 15 years ago that the first high-quality X-rays were taken, which marked and listed all the small parts and sections in the artifact.
Of course, this refers to only the existing parts of the Antikythera Mechanism but it is more than enough if you are prepared to go deep in mathematical calculations. And since this is definitely not one of my strong subjects, I will put a link towards the research paper at the bottom as there is no point in trying to explain the process better than the creators.
• Budiselic, C., Thoeni, A. T., Dubno, M., & Ramsey, A. T. (2020). The Antikythera Mechanism Evidence of a Lunar Calendar Parts 1&2.
• Maloney, D. (2020, December 16). Hacker’s Discovery Changes Understanding Of The Antikythera Mechanism.
• Jones, A. (2020, April 08). The Antikythera Mechanism: The ancient Greek computer that mapped the stars.
• Marchant, J. (2015, February 01). Decoding the Antikythera Mechanism, the First Computer.