Antikythera Mechanism

Discussion in 'Earth Mysteries: The Land' started by rynner2, Sep 23, 2002.

  1. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
    It's all Greek to me!
     
  2. Coal

    Coal Polymath Renaissance Man

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    Not half, and really just because she was female.
     
  3. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

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    A fascinating further video by Chris, of Clickspring fame, who continues in his project to make, from scratch, the hand-tools used to build the Antikythera Mechanism.

    Excellent explanations as to how ancient technologists created case-hardened metalworking files. He has amazing patience, and a good method of explaining the required techniques.

    His commentries upon the cog tooth clearance angles and variations in build methods are almost forensic in their detail and insight. Just astounding.
     
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  4. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    You beat me to it! I was going to post that.
     
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  5. Ascalon

    Ascalon Devoted Cultist

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    I think the piece is entirely tongue in cheek.
    I just like the idea, and in fairness, well supported theory, that many of humankind's media and communications breakthroughs have been either prompted, subverted, or at the very least, most fully utilised, by the porn industry.
     
  6. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

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    Ermintruder, Mythopoeika,

    But it goes nowhere near the most important question.

    Why was there no burst of (small) geared machinery following this for nearly 2000 years ?

    If you look at the meteoric advance in all things electrical and all things in general since the beginning of the industrial revolution, particularly in the last 150 years, then this makes the Anti-Kythera episode seem singularly odd.

    INT21
     
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  7. Coal

    Coal Polymath Renaissance Man

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    'cos the prototype was at the bottom of the Med.?
     
  8. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    Maybe the engineering genius was on board the ship when it went down?
    Or...more likely, the sheer cost and skill level required put off the people who would most likely be the commissioners of such projects.
     
  9. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

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    Coal,

    The prototype of one particular machine may have been, but not the technology that (supposedly) made it.

    INT21

    Looks as if we are getting crossed posts here.
     
  10. Coal

    Coal Polymath Renaissance Man

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    True. But the skill required to make such a machine is not the same as the intellect required to conceive of and design it.
     
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  11. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

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    But you must agree that the concept comes first. Then the acquisition of the skills required to make it.

    Plus you would have to be either an astronomer or a mathematician or both.

    In short a Greek Renaissance man.

    But also there is the matter of the tooling.

    It is very easy in hindsight to come up with how the ancients made the tools. Easy because we know how to do it.

    But to use the example of a hardened file. First you have to have the idea of changing from a single edged scraper to a tool with many cutting serrations. Then you have to have the idea of hardening it. Metallurgy didn't really get going until the first steels came along.
    And the files would have to be pretty small. As would the drills.

    It wasn't until the 17 century that clock makers really stated to get a grip of miniaturisation.

    On one of the minature engineering sites I frequent, someone put it quite nicely.

    'We make tools to make tools to make machines: and one day we may even make a project'.

    INT21
     
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  12. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

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    I've wondered about this, and had actually presumed precisely the reverse, inasmuch as, surely the skills of understanding the design/functional outputs AND the hand-skills required for construction were indeed possessed by the same person?

    Or are we saying that flawless skills in engineering draughtmanship, technical authoring & communication also existed pror to that earlier time, as well?
     
  13. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

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    EnolaGaia,

    ...Historically, timekeeping has provided the initial impetus for precision machine making. The Greeks and Romans achieved sufficient timekeeping capabilities with water clocks...

    Which could be calibrated astronomically, as can a Sundial.

    INT21
     
  14. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

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    But surely not (ironically) for use at sea? Or during a pilgrimage? This was by it's nature, mobile technology
     
  15. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

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    Ermintruder,

    ..
    Or are we saying that flawless skills in engineering draughtmanship, technical authoring & communication also existed pror to that earlier time, as well?

    Oddly one of the earliest machining skills, scraping, is still used to obtain extraordinarily precise flat surfaces.
    And you don't need any high precision equipment to do it.

    INT21
     
  16. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

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    Ermintruder,

    ..
    But surely not (ironically) for use at sea? Or during a pilgrimage? This was by it's nature, mobile technology..

    The problem was time. It wasn't until George Harrison came up with the Marine Chronograph that it was solved.
    You can find your latitude from the Sun or stars, but you need to know what time it is to find Longitude: And the Ancient Greeks didn't have clocks.

    Have you seen the drama/documentary 'Longitude' ? If not try to find it.

    By the way, I didn't write the line you quoted, I got it from a previous post.

    INT21
     
  17. jimv1

    jimv1 Analogue Boy

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    My Sweet Lord! George Harrison clocks. You learn something new every day.
     
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  18. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

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    ...You learn something new every day..

    You sure do.

    Today you learned that INT21 can also make the occasional mistake and mix up George Harrison, a player in some obscure Liverpool rock group, with the great John Harrison, who created something far more useful to humankind.

    INT21:evillaugh:
     
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  19. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

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    I'm fully-aware of this. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your point?

    The Antikythera Mechanism was primarily a calendrical device, combined with astronomical indicators.

    Therefore the known date on-board ship (or anywhere else) would be used to mechanically set it. It did not need a precise time of day in order to use it, nor was it in itself a clock (or a latitude estimator).
     
  20. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    Ermintruder:

    The line quoted came from one of my 2016 posts. In context, it alluded to the notion that for daily timekeeping / temporal orientation purposes, the Greeks seemed satisfied with the level of precision afforded by the sundials and / or water clocks we know full well they had. The point (again, in context ... ) was that there is no corollary nor subsequent evidence the Greeks prioritized greater timekeeping precision to the extent of being motivated to create a more sophisticated device.

    The Greeks' (known) mechanical timekeeping devices exploited a continuous flow of some substance (e.g., water; sand). Such continuous flow devices would have been affected by a ship's motions (e.g., rocking), and were hence far less reliable at sea than on terra firma. One advantage of more modern mechanical clocks is that their workings advance by means of a more rigidly engaging escapement - a subsidiary mechanism that converts a continuous motion or force into discrete stepwise increments. The ratcheting action of a gearwork escapement repeatedly releasing and stopping a driven gear is the source of an old clock's 'tick-tock' sound.

    The Greeks were familiar with general / conceptual escapement functionality. Philo (aka Philon) of Byzantium (who pre-dated the Antikythera device) described an escapement mechanism in his Pneumatics. Philo even included a side comment about the mechanism being known in the context of Greek clocks. However, both his example (a washstand with escapement-regulated flow) and all known Greek mechanical clocks were of the continuous flow variety.

    In any case, the Antikythera Mechanism is certainly not a clock.
     
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  21. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

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    Ermintruder,

    The point about time was that you can't know where you are (when at sea) if you don't know what time it is.

    You use a sextant. Even the crude early ones work. But you still need to know the accurate time.

    But as the Greeks and others of the day tended to not go out of sight of land then they didn't have a problem in that respect.

    You could use, say, a form of water clock to give you some kind of elapsed time from departure. But it would be hopeless as a navigation timepiece.

    The Anti-Kythera device is more astronomical in intent.

    INT21
     
  22. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

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    INT21 I'm not at all sure what it is we're disagreeing about?

    I also fully-agree with you regarding the function/purpose of sextants: I was taught how to use one, on-board a yacht probably over 40yrs ago.

    Have you watched the Clickspring tool-making video I linked to, earlier? Any thoughts? I suspect he does follow-through, as a semi-commercial technology maker, and actually builds his projects.
     
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  23. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

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    Bonjour, matelot,

    Chris (Clickspring) does indeed build his projects. You should follow his series on buildin a clock.

    I have seen the first episode of his Anti-Kythera build. But have yet to catch up on his progress.

    ...But surely not (ironically) for use at sea? Or during a pilgrimage? This was by it's nature, mobile technology..

    I think the confusion came from this line.

    I took it that you were implying that the AK devise could not be used for navigation (I agree) but the bit about 'mobile technology' threw me.

    I believe we are essentially on the same page.

    INT21
     
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  24. Coal

    Coal Polymath Renaissance Man

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    I watched the one on file making and thought it terrific, I learnt so much from the first one alone.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
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  25. ramonmercado

    ramonmercado CyberPunk

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    Antikythera Shipwreck Yields More Amazing Finds
    10/06/2017 06:00:00 PM

    For the third consecutive year, the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities has conducted an underwater excavation at the site of the Antikythera shipwreck. Work was carried out between the 4th and the 20th of September, under particularly good weather conditions, as has been announced by the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

    During research, excavations continued in the sea area, from where come the remains of skeletons from last year’s operation, as well as components from the ship itself such as: sections of lead tubing, counterweights and aggregates of iron objects. At the same time, a multitude of shards of amphorae and other vessels were recovered in this year’s excavation season.

    Among the most significant finds to be pulled up is a section of the bronze folds from a statue’s garment, as well as a right arm made of bronze, in one piece. An aggregate was also recovered formed round some iron object that is entirely oxidized and has left its imprint.


    Read more at https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blog...hipwreck-yields-more.html#3YVpvDwdyfeRMdIJ.99
     
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