Unlocking a sea secret: the Antikythera Mechanism


  • Date: May 9, 2019
  • Time: 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Dr. Markos Skoulatos (TU Munich)
  • Location: MPI-CPfS, Dresden
Unlocking a sea secret: the Antikythera Mechanism
In this talk, Dr. Markos Skoulatos, research at TU Munich, will tell the fascinating story of the Antikythera Mechanism, the oldest computer of mankind, which without any doubt is the greatest technological achievement of antiquity.

A century was necessary in order to reveal its secrets. What is it though, that inspires until now four generations of scientists? We will navigate from its discovery by sponge divers, up to the latest word of modern technology in order to solve its puzzle.

I will analyse its functions, epicyclic and differential gearings, the indications it gives us and how to read them. We will see how astronomy, mathematics and engineering all come together in a small portable mechanical device. At the end, there will be an opportunity to operate some simple hand-held devices that use technology similar to that of the Antikythera Mechanism. Our purpose is to familiarise with this “mysterious” construction as well as to individually discover what it is that inspires, still, despite being two millennia since its original construction.

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