Greek mystery may have been solved

Jun 08, 2006

Scientists say they may have solved the puzzle produced by the 1900 discovery off Greece of a bronze mechanism created in 80 B.C.

The "Antikythera Mechanism" was discovered on the wreck of a cargo ship off the tiny Greek island of Antikythera, The Scotsman reported.

But now a team of British and Greek researchers report finding a hidden inscription on the machine that might determine the purpose of the shoe box-sized mechanism, which some scientists believe might be the world's oldest astronomy computer.

The team believes the machine might have been used to predict the motion of the planets, although the mechanism involving more than 30 wheels and dials represents a technical prowess not to be replicated for thousands of years, The Scotsman said.

The scientists used three-dimensional X-ray technology to read the inscriptions that have gone unseen for more than 2,000 years.

Xenophon Moussas, a researcher at Athens University, told The Scotsman the inscription indicates the machine was used to track planetary bodies.

Said Moussas: "It is a puzzle concerning astronomical and mathematical knowledge in antiquity. The mechanism could rewrite certain chapters in this area."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Paleontologists pioneer laser-beam scanning of dinosaur fossils

Related Stories

The monopoly of aluminium is broken

9 hours ago

Discovering Majorana's was only the first step, but utilizing it as a quantum bit (qubit) still remains a major challenge. An important step towards this goal has just been taken, as shown by researchers ...

Yik Yak's frat-bro founders shrug off growing pains

9 hours ago

The most popular post of all time on Yik Yak is a dirty joke. Less than 2 years old, the Atlanta-based social network is geared mostly toward college students who access and post unsigned announcements through an app on their ...

Fears for pink iguanas as Galapagos volcano erupts

10 hours ago

A volcano in the Galapagos islands erupted for the first time in more than 30 years Monday, sending streams of lava flowing down its slopes and potentially threatening the world's only colony of pink iguanas.

Recommended for you

Social media & archaeology—a match not made in heaven

11 hours ago

Archaeologists are avid users of social media, as well as online crowd-based funding and content-sourcing tools—deploying them to save sites, sustain the historic environment and protect history, often ...

Rewriting the history of the Boaz mastodon

16 hours ago

Through a combination of modern-day scientific sleuthing, historical detective work, and a plethora of persistence, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have rewritten the story of a celebrated ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.