Heidelberg Joint Astronomical Colloquium

Speaker Mike Edmunds
Title The Antikythera Mechanism

Perhaps the most extraordinary surviving relic from the ancient Greek world is a device containing over thirty gear wheels dating from the 1st century B.C., and now known as the Antikythera Mechanism. This device is an order of magnitude more complicated than any surviving mechanism from the following millennium, and there is no known precursor. It is clear from its structure and inscriptions that it's purpose was astronomical, including eclipse prediction. In this illustrated talk, I will outline the results - including a new assessment of the accuracy of the device - from our international research team, which has been using the most modern imaging methods to probe the device and its inscriptions. Our results show the extraordinary sophistication of the Mechanism's design. There are fundamental implications for the development of Greek astronomy, philosophy and technology.