The Antikythera Mechanism reconsidered

M. T. Wright
2007 Interdisciplinary Science Reviews  
The Antikythera Mechanism, the world's oldest known geared mechanism, became widely known through the work of Derek Price who, concluding that its dials yielded astronomical and calendrical information, called it a 'calendar computer'. Price rightly drew attention to its importance as direct evidence for a high level of mechanical accomplishment in ancient times, but his account of the instrument itself is deficient. I have developed a new reconstruction on the basis of an independent survey of
more » ... dependent survey of the original, drawing on my knowledge of early mechanism and of the history of craft techniques, and on my experience as a practical mechanic. This reconstruction follows the observed detail far more closely than does Price's. It displays somewhat different astronomical information, according closely with the contemporary literary evidence of interest in the making of planetaria. The main features of the new reconstruction, previously described elsewhere in a series of papers, are here brought together so as to convey a better impression of the whole. A model, made to the same scale as the original, demonstrates that the reconstruction is workable.
doi:10.1179/030801807x163670 fatcat:4sqq2q2jhfh3to43lfghjeauju