Antikythera Mechanism

Antikythera mechanism (transparent model)

The antikythera mechanism– it is believed that this instrument was a kind of mechanical analog computer used to calculate the movements of stars and planets in astronomy. It has been estimated that the antikythera mechanism was built around 87 B.C

It is currently housed in the Greek National Archaeological Museum in Athens and is thought to be one of the most complicated antiques in existence. At the beginning of the 20th century, divers off the island of Antikythera came across this clocklike mechanism, which is thought to be at least 2,000 years old, in the wreckage of a cargo ship. The device was very thin and made of bronze.

Antikythera mechanism (video 2:56) epicyclic gearing – Archimedes – The Antikythera Mechanism is the oldest known scientific computer, built in Greece at around 100 BCE. Lost for 2000 years, it was recovered from a shipwreck in 1901. But not until a century later was its purpose understood: an astronomical clock that determines the positions of celestial bodies with extraordinary precision. 

In 2010, we built a fully-functional replica out of Lego.

Engineering ideas

  • mechanical, analog, computer, gears, clockworks