Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Antikythera Star Clock

As I write this many of us today, the world over, will be counting the seconds as Mid Night approaches and a New Year dawns.

Time controls the rhythm of our lives like a Metronome ticking away and measuring the pace and tempo of our existence. From time immemorial we humans have been fascinated with the fundamental nature of time and keeping track of it by watching the rhythmic changes seen in the celestial heavens. 

Today being the first day of 2014 AD we at Far Future Horizons are going to explore the findings of the latest research to investigate the greatest and most surprising discovery made in the field of undersea archaeology with two very interesting documentaries.

In 1900, a group of Greek sponge divers accidentally stumbled on an ancient Roman shipwreck dating from the First Century BC. The wreck produced numerous statues dating back to the 4th century BC, as well as a mysterious object - a lump of calcified stone that contained within it several gearwheels welded together after years under the sea. 

The Antikythera mechanism (Fragment A - front)

The 2,000-year-old object, no bigger than a modern laptop, is now regarded as the world's oldest analog computer, devised to predict solar eclipses and, according to recent findings, calculate the timing of the ancient Olympics.

Following the efforts of an international team of scientists, the mysteries of the Antikythera Mechanism are uncovered, revealing surprising and awe-inspiring details of an object that continues to mystify.

The Antikythera Mechanism has a long prestigious pedigree beginning with the astronomical knowledge of the ancient Babylonians and culminating in the mechanical and mathematical genius of Archimedes and his contemporaries on the Corinthian Greek colony of Syracuse.

To keep track of the ongoing research of this remarkable archaeological find visit the website of The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project.

I also encourage our readers to read Jo Marchant’s recently published book titled Decoding the Heavens: Solving the Mystery of the World's First Computer which is available from

Author Jo Marchant has created a book that makes the "Indiana Jones" adventure movies seem boring! Her book is not some fictional archeological novel written in some protected writer's den - but "Decoding the Heavens" is the real deal. The book provides new insights and even greater questions that have been left unanswered by science and history. The story is absolutely amazing, as told by a talented and gifted writer. She takes history, science and math and weaves a tale that is both entertaining and educational.

The book details more than 100 years of effort to unravel the mysteries surrounding an old Greek device. This old archaeological fragment acts in some ways very much like today's modern computers, in that it is able to provide data and information. Who designed it and more importantly how - become the quest for the author, as she explored the roots and origins and mysteries of this 2,000 year old Antikythera mechanism.

This is really a surprisingly good read - I was not expecting such a great story. It is - as the old express goes - a book you cannot put down! A most thoroughly enjoyable experience and one that leaves you in awe and wonder! I fully recommend this book and give it The American Authors Association's highest book rating of FIVE STARS!

I would like to wish each of my readers a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. Now with out further delay we present the Antikythera Star Clock.

BBC The Two Thousand Year Old Computer

Ancient Discoveries - Ancient Computer?
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