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The story of the world's first computer -

built over two thousand years ago, by a greek genius.

Capturing the theory of (almost) everything that the

greek belief system of the day subscribed to -

in a box very similar in size to one of today's laptop

or tablet computers.

I have been following the progress

of understanding the significance

of this "TIME prediction machine"

ever since I first became aware of

the work of musical instrument

and clock maker Michael Wright's

attempt to create a working model 

of the Antikythera mechanism.


This mechanism is an ancient Greek clockwork machine found in a shipwreck

more than a hundred years ago, by sponge divers at the bottom of the sea near

the island of Antikythera - that has taken more than a century to decipher.

It astonished the whole international community of experts on the ancient

world.  Was it an astrolabe ?  Was it an orrery or an astronomical clock ?

Or just something else ?


Wright's handmade reconstruction was the very first

to include all the known features of this complex device.



For decades, scientific investigation failed to yield much light and relied

more on imagination than the facts. However research over the last half

century has begun to reveal its secrets. The machine dates from around the

end of the 2nd century B.C. and is the most sophisticated mechanism

known from the ancient world. Nothing as complex is known for the next

thousand years. The Antikythera Mechanism is now understood to be

dedicated to astronomical phenomena and operates as a complex

mechanical "computer" which tracks the cycles of the Solar System.

Previous Antikythera researchers have used the latest technologies

available to them -such as x-ray analysis- to try to begin to unravel its

complex mysteries. From 2005, a new initiative is building on this previous

work, using the very latest techniques available today.

The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project  is an international effort

of collaboration of academic researchers, supported by some of the

world's best high-technology companies, which aims to completely

reassess the function and significance of the Antikythera Mechanism.



The recent showing of an hour long BBC Four documentary - an excerpt of

which is appended here - has absolutely confirmed for me the reason why 

my fascination with this device, its maker and the culture which

underpinned its creation - IS so profound. The fact that the exhibition has

been extended to January 2014 is indeed testament to mine and others

fascination with the subject.



Just image that perhaps the original vision and concept of one of these

devices was designed and created by the likes of Archimedes in Syracuse

and then produced for the purposes of navigation on the high seas by the

Romans - subsequent to their sacking of Syracuse and the eventual demise

of the Greek empire - and that in turn all knowledge of the device was lost

to the west as its secret moved eastwards to the Persians, who presumably

utilised its power to consolidate their own understanding of the heavens -

before re-entering the mind-set of the west when the Moors crossed the

straights of Gibraltar to conquer the Spanish mainland and instigate the

creation of University Libraries such as at Cordoba.


Long before the renaissance there was a place of humanistic beauty in

Muslim Spain. Not only was it artistic, scientific and commercial but also

tolerant and poetic. Moors, as the Spaniards call the Muslims, populated

Spain for nearly 700 years. It was their civilization that brought Europe

out of the dark ages and ushered in the renaissance.

Their influences still live with us today.


The fact that the Athenians even questioned the validity of their democratic

model following the Romans carnage in Syracuse; and the subsequent demise

of the Roman Empire by the so called Barbarians - in juxtaposition to the

multi-cultural tolerance of the early Muslim World, which has tragically

transmogrified into the devisive collection of shiite/sunni/fundamentalist

religious belief systems which we have today - speaks volumes to the state

of play of todays world in the context of the fact that although we have had

the worst global financial crash in history - the powers that be continue with 

their denial of the truth by trying to resurrect the model which quite definitely

created the problem in the first place. What goes around comes around.

Which in the context of precession, still brings me

back to the conclusion that IT is ALL GREEK to me !!??




Views: 303

Comment by Michael Grove on September 21, 2013 at 12:20


Then sometimes, just sometimes, the art is turned on

its  head  to be able to reproduce the inner workings of

a piece of art  long lost to our amazement & gratification.


Comment by Michael Grove on November 21, 2013 at 16:12


You can just imagine what Leibnitz would have made of the

function and significance of the Antikythera Mechanism !!!???

Comment by Michael Grove on August 23, 2014 at 22:08

The properties of space have been postulated by many, from ancient Vedic philosophy, Eastern Mystics, various ancient civilizations throughout human history all the way to Descartes, Einstein, Newton and more. 

Comment by Michael Grove on June 12, 2015 at 11:34

Greek astonomers pioneered the work of calculating the sides and angles of trianglesIslamics cholars used trigonometry to determine the direction to Mecca. Muslims like to pray facing Mecca. Tradition requires that the dead be buried facing Mecca and that Muslim butchers face Mecca when killing animals for meat.

It was Al-Khwarizmi who wrote about the practical use of decimals and 
also clarified and popularised a method for solving certain mathematical problems. He explained the method in his work 

The Book of Restoring and Balancing

The term al-jabr in its Arabic title, Kitab al-jabr wa’l-muqabala, is the source of the English word 
algebra. Algebra, says science writer Ehsan Masood, is considered “the single most important mathematical tool ever devised, and one that underpins every facet of science.”

Centuries later, Western mathematicians, including Galileo and Fibonacci, held al-Khwarizmi in 
high esteem because of his clear explanations regarding the use of equations. Al-Khwarizmi’s descriptions paved the way for further studies in algebra,  arithmetic and trigonometry. The latter enabled Middle Eastern scholars to calculate values for angles and sides of triangles and to advance studies in astronomy. In time, al-Khwarizmi’s works were translated into Latin.

The Italian mathematician Fibonacci (c. 1170-1250), also known as Leonardo of Pisa, is generally credited with popularizing Hindu-Arabic numerals in the West. He learned about them during his travels in the Mediterranean world and thereafter wrote his Book of Calculation.


Comment by Michael Grove on August 17, 2021 at 15:05

The hand-powered, 2,000-year-old device displayed the motion of the universe, predicting the movement of the five known planets, the phases of the moon and the solar and lunar eclipses. But quite how it achieved such impressive feats has proved fiendishly hard to untangle.

Now researchers at UCL believe they have solved the mystery – at least in part – and have set about reconstructing the device, gearwheels and all, to test whether their proposal works. If they can build a replica with modern machinery, they aim to do the same with techniques from antiquity.

“We believe that our reconstruction fits all the evidence that scientists have gleaned from the extant remains to date,” said Adam Wojcik, a materials scientist at UCL. While other scholars have made reconstructions in the past, the fact that two-thirds of the mechanism are missing has made it hard to know for sure how it worked.


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