Advertisement

Amazing Discovery of Archaeology

  • Jian-Liang LinEmail author
  • Hong-Sen Yan
Chapter
  • 736 Downloads

Abstract

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.

References

  1. 1.
    Warn F (2000) Bitter Sea, The real story of Greek Sponge Diving. Guardian Angel Press, South Woodham Ferrers, UKGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rützler K(1996) Sponge diving—Professional but not for profit. In: Lang MA, Baldwin CC (eds) Methods and techniques of underwater research. Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences the 16th Scientific Diving Symposium, Washington DC, pp 183–204Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hendrikse S, Merks A (2009) Diving the Skafandro suit. Available in the website. http://www.divingheritage.com/greecekern2.htm. Accessed July 2014
  4. 4.
    Kalymnos Sponge Diving (2014) Greeka.com: The Greek island specialists. Available in the website. http://www.greeka.com/dodecanese/kalymnos/sponge-diving-tradition.htm. Accessed July 2014
  5. 5.
    The Diver training Network (2010) The Sponge Divers. In: The Sponge Divers of Kalymnos. Available in the website. http://www.kalymnosdivingfestival.com/index_files/Page1172.htm. Accessed July 2014
  6. 6.
    Few Things about the History of the Natural Greek Sea Sponges (2014) Greek Sponge Divers, Cambridgegreekcorner. Available in the website. http://www.cambridgegreekcorner.co.uk/. Accessed July 2014
  7. 7.
    Voultsiadou E (2007) Sponges: an historical survey of their knowledge in Greek antiquity. J Mar Biol Ass UK 87:1757–1763CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Database of Diving Suit (2014) GTP headlines. Available in the website. http://news.gtp.gr/2010/08/01/kalymnos-an-ideal-destination-for-all/. Accessed July 2014
  9. 9.
    Marchant J (2008) Decoding the heavens—solving the Mystery of the World’s first computer. William Heinemann, Great BritainGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Databased of the Antikythera Mechanism (2014) The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project. Available in the website. http://www.antikythera-mechanism.gr. Accessed July 2014
  11. 11.
    de Price DS (1974) Gears from the Greeks: The Antikythera Mechanism—A calendar computer from ca. 80 BC. Science History Publications, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Freeth T et al (2006) Decoding the Ancient Greek astronomical calculator known as the Antikythera mechanism. Nature 444:587–891ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Charette F (2006) High tech from ancient Greece. News Views Nat 444(30):551–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Marchant J (2006) In search of lost time. News Feature Nat 444(30):634–638Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wright MT (2007) The Antikythera mechanism reconsidered. Interdisciplinary Sci Rev 32(1):27–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ball P (2008) Complex clock combines calendar. News Nat 454(31):561CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Freeth T (2009) Decoding an ancient computer. Sci Am 301(6):79–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Moussas X (2011) Chapter 8—The Antikythera mechanism: a mechanical cosmos and an eternal prototype for modelling and paradigm study. In: Kokkotas PV, Malamitsa KS, Rizaki AA (eds) Adopting historical science knowledge production to the classroom. Sense Publishers, Boston, pp 113–129Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kaltsas N, Vlachogianni E, Bouyia P (2012) The Antikythera Shipwreck: the ship, the treasures, the mechanism. Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism, National Archaeological Museum, AthensGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Wright MT (2004) The scholar, the mechanic and the Antikythera Mechanism. Bull Sci Instrument Soc 80:4–11Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Freeth T et al (2008) Calendars with olympiad display and eclipse prediction on the Antikythera mechanism. Nature 454:614–617ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Wright MT (2002) In the steps of the master mechanic. In: Ancient Greece and the Modern World. Proceedings of a conference in Ancient Olympia, 2002, University of Patras, Patras, Greece, pp 86–97Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Wright MT (2012) The front dial of the Antikythera mechanism. In: Proceedings of the HMM2012. Springer, Netherlands, No. 15, pp 279–292. HMM 2012: International Symposium on History of Machines and Mechanisms, VU University Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lin JL, Yan HS (2014) Historical development of reconstruction designs of Antikythera mechanism. Presented in proceedings of the 9th international conference on history of mechanical technology and mechanical design, Tainan, 23–25 Mar 2014. (Applied mechanics and materials, vol 163, 1–62012.04)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lin JL (2011) Systematic reconstruction designs of Antikythera mechanism. Dissertation, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, TaiwanGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Cicero MT (54 BC) De Republic. English edition: M.T. Cicero (1999) On the Commonwealth and on the Laws (trans: J.G. Zetzel). Cambridge University Press, United KingdomGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Cicero MT (54 BC) De Republic. English edition: M.T. Cicero (2012) Commonwealth (trans: F. Barham). The Online Library of Liberty, A Project of Liberty Found, Inc. Available in the websiteGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Cicero MT (45 BC) De Natura Deorum. English edition: M.T. Cicero (2012) On the Nature of the Gods (trans: F. Brooks). The Online Library of Liberty, A Project of Liberty Found, Inc. Available in the website. http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?Option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=539&layout=html Accessed July 2014
  29. 29.
    Cicero MT (45 BC) De Natura Deorum. English edition: M. T. Cicero (1933) De natura deorum, Academica (trans: H. Rackham). Harvard University Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Lin JL, Yan HS (2014) Decoding the moon phase display device of the front dial of the Antikythera Mechanism. Paper also presented in Third IFToMM on mechanism and machine science, Tianjin, China, 9–10 July 2014Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Open Access This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/), which permits any noncommercial use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this chapter are included in the chapter's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the chapter's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan

Personalised recommendations