V-Collections - Ancient Hellenic Treasures
- The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient analogue designed to predict astronomical positions mainly for sea navigation and eclipses, as well as the cycles of Olympic Games.
Found housed in a 340 × 180 × 90 mm wooden box, the device is a complex clockwork mechanism comprised of at least 30 meshing bronze gears. Its remains were found as 82 separate fragments, of which only seven contain any gears or significant inscriptions. The artifact was recovered in 1900–1901 from the Antikythera shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera. Believed to have been designed and constructed by Greek scientists, the instrument has been dated either between 150 to 100 BC, or, according to a more recent view, in 205 BC.
After knowledge of this technology was lost at some point in Antiquity, technological artifacts approaching its complexity and workmanship did not appear again in Europe until the development of mechanical astronomical clocks in the fourteenth century.
All known fragments of the Antikythera mechanism are kept at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
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