The Antikythera Mechanism: Discoveries Old & New
The Antikythera Mechanism, so named after the Greek island in whose waters it was salvaged in 1901 from a shipwreck datable to ca. 70-60 BCE, is a remarkable geared device that was constructed in the 2nd or 1st century BCE to calculate and display various astronomical, calendrical and athletic time periods. No device of comparable technological complexity is known until 1,000 years later. In 2005, a group of researchers known as the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project (AMRP) examined the 82 fragments of this badly corroded and brittle device with two modern technologies called Micro-Focus X-Ray Computed Tomography (CT) and Polynomial Texture Mapping (PTM, now more widely known as Reflectance Transformation Imaging or RTI). This talk will give a general overview of the Mechanism, particularly recent discoveries made on it using these two technologies, including some new discoveries not yet published.