Two scientists have conducted a new research in order of having a better grasp on the Antikythera Mechanism. The Antikythera Mechanism is a 2,000 year old mechanism from Greece that modeled the known universe. The research has helped the scientists discover new information about the astronomical puzzle that has been a subject of fascination for archeologists all over the world for the past decades.
The researchers analyzed the Babylonian eclipse records and the Antikythera Mechanism for numerous years and have come to the conclusion that the device is dated to around 205 B.C., which makes the Antikythera Mechanism older than previously thought by about 50 to 100 years. The world’s first computer, the Antikythera Mechanism was retrieved from the bottom of the sea in 1901 in Greece.
The new study claims that the ancient Greeks were able to predict eclipses and were capable of engineering the complex machine earlier than it was previously thought. The research also reinforces the concept that the prediction of eclipses was not established by using trigonometry, as it was not around in 205 B.C. Instead, the Greeks predicted eclipses by using Babylonian methods of arithmetic.
The two scientists active in the research are history of science professor from the University of Quilmes, Argentina, Christián Carman and professor of physics at the University of Puget Sound, James Evans.
The period in which the Antikythera Mechanism was dated also reinforces the belief that a similar mechanism was created by Archimedes. His mechanism is believed to have been brought by the Roman general Marcellus in Rome after Archimedes’ death in 212 B.C. and after the dismissal of Syracuse.
“If the Antikythera Mechanism did indeed use an eclipse predictor that worked best for a cycle starting in 205 BC, the likely origin of this machine is tantalizingly close to the lifetime of Archimedes,”
A statement from the University of Puget Sound claims.
Carmen and Evans used an elimination method which allowed them to analyze the numerous ways in which the eclipse patterns on the mechanism could match the Babylonian records in order to arrive at the date which makes the Antikythera Mechanism older than previously thought.
The statement from the University reads:
“The calculations take into account lunar and solar anomalies (which result in faster or slower velocity), missing solar eclipses, lunar and solar eclipses cycles, and other astronomical phenomena. The work was particularly difficult because only about a third of the Antikythera’s eclipse predictor is preserved.”