Amazing Discovery of Archaeology

  • Jian-Liang LinEmail author
  • Hong-Sen Yan


In the year of 1900, an unscheduled diving work accidentally resulted in a startling discovery of archaeological research, the oldest astronomical calculator—Antikythera mechanism. This device survived in the ancient Greece and dates about 100–150 BC. According to the excavation, it is understood that the device is composed of a great gear train with triangular teeth shape, and the sizes of most surviving gears are small. By the ingenious designs and the precise gears, the standards of manufacturing, science, and technology are believed to be highly developed in the era of Antikythera device. As a result, such an incident redefined the historical development of ancient Western machinery.

The beginning of this chapter describes this discovery story from the historical background of the incident. Then, the background related to this mechanical device is studied, along with the introduction of the known information of Antikythera device, including the exterior appearance, the device functions, and the corresponding interior mechanisms. In addition, the reconstruction designs by Yan and Lin have contributed to the describing of the interior mechanisms. The last part of this chapter presents the historical records by Cicero about the device.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan

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