Posted by: Alexandre Borovik | February 3, 2012

Antikythera Mechanism: A talk in Manchester

In April, the British Colloquium for Theoretical Computer Science will be held in Manchester.  The webpage.   Fees are quite reasonable (they essentially just cover the conference banquet, lunches and drinks provided).

We have a speaker, Mike Edmunds ,  involved with the fascinating investigation of the Antikythera Mechanism. Below is the abstract of his talk, The Antikythera Mechanism and the early history of mechanical computing:

Perhaps the most extraordinary surviving relic from the ancient Greek world is a device containing over thirty gear wheels dating from the late 2nd century B.C., and now known as the Antikythera Mechanism. This device is an order of magnitude more complicated than any surviving mechanism from the following millennium, and there is no known precursor. It is clear from its structure and inscriptions that its purpose was astronomical, including eclipse prediction. In this illustrated talk, I will outline the results – including an assessment of the accuracy of the device – from our international research team, which has been using the most modern imaging methods to probe the device and its inscriptions. Our results show the extraordinary sophistication of the Mechanism’s design. There are fundamental implications for the development of Greek astronomy, philosophy and technology. The subsequent history of mechanical computation will be briefly sketched, emphasising both triumphs and lost
opportunities……


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Responses

  1. A funny text ending with renaissance computing speculations:

    http://pruned.blogspot.com/2012/01/gardens-as-crypto-water-computers.html


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