Download A Portable Cosmos: Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, by Alexander Jones PDF

By Alexander Jones

From the lifeless Sea Scrolls to the Terracotta military, historical artifacts have lengthy involved the trendy global. although, the significance of a few discoveries isn't continually instantly understood. This used to be the case in 1901 whilst sponge divers retrieved a lump of corroded bronze from a shipwreck on the backside of the Mediterranean Sea close to the Greek island of Antikythera. Little did the divers be aware of they'd stumbled on the oldest identified analog machine on this planet, an excellent gadget that when simulated the motions of the celebrities and planets as they have been understood via old Greek astronomers. Its is still now encompass eighty two fragments, lots of them containing gears and plates engraved with Greek phrases, that scientists and students have pieced again jointly via painstaking inspection and deduction, aided by means of radiographic instruments and floor imaging. greater than a century after its discovery, a number of the secrets and techniques locked during this mysterious gadget can now be printed.

In addition to chronicling the not going discovery of the Antikythera Mechanism, writer Alexander Jones takes readers via a dialogue of ways the gadget labored, how and for what objective it used to be created, and why it was once on a boat that wrecked off the Greek coast round 60 BC. What the Mechanism has exposed approximately Greco-Roman astronomy and medical know-how, and their position in Greek society, is really remarkable. The mechanical knowledge that it embodied was once extra complicated than whatever the Greeks have been formerly suggestion in a position to, however the newest study has printed that its screens have been designed in order that an informed layman may possibly comprehend the habit of astronomical phenomena, and the way intertwined they have been with one's average and social setting. It used to be instantly a masterpiece of equipment in addition to one of many first transportable educating units. Written by means of a world-renowned professional at the Mechanism, A transportable Cosmos will fascinate all readers attracted to historical background, archaeology, and the background of science.

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Additional info for A Portable Cosmos: Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, Scientific Wonder of the Ancient World

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Systematic records do not appear to have been preserved of the items as they were brought up. Intermittently, telegrams were sent from Kythera—​no direct line of communication from Antikythera existed—​reporting the finds, and these were usually summarized in the next day’s newspapers. At least from a layman’s point of view, the most exciting discoveries were the bronze statues. Though shattered into pieces, they were otherwise in a comparatively good state of preservation, and at least some of them appeared to be late Classical or early Hellenistic work, from the fourth and third centuries BC.

The late-​third-​century BC bronze head of the “philosopher” (National Archaeological Museum X 13400), before and after cleaning. (Svoronos 1903a, 29 and plate III) Syros (joined by a freighter with a crane) and the torpedo boat Aigialeia, would do this work, while the Mykali returned from time to time to bring artifacts to Athens and carry archeologists and other officials back and forth. 3). Over the following months, the work continued in a stop-​and-​start manner, with interruptions caused not only by weather but also by an investigation—​ there had been accusations in the Greek press that the divers were carelessly handling or even deliberately breaking their finds (the ministerial delegation exonerated them).

In fact, the archeologist overseeing the salvage had recently sent a more positive report to the minister: The labors of the divers in bringing up the sunken treasure progress slowly but in a proper manner and more systematically than before. 14 It does seem that the divers were trying not to miss anything. But one can understand why the minister was unimpressed by what they were finding. 4. The sponge divers, officers, and crew of the Mykali, and delegation from the Ministry of Education on board the Mykali, February 1901.

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