Friday, August 01, 2008
part of the conceit of western hubris is to imagine that we in our civilization are massively advanced, so much so as to truly be the harbinger of the dawn of technology. in some ways, this is true. but the antikythira mechanism helps to illustrate also how this is not so -- indeed, it is becoming apparent that the ancient hellenic world was not only a brilliant artistic, spiritual and political light but a highly technical one as well. the mechanism demonstrates the detailed knowledge of the organization of the universe known to the greeks, including an awareness of the heliocentric universe, and a refined ability to mimic its movements in mechanical clockwork of a kind not seen again in europe until the 17th century.
via mark thoma -- nature has published a paper on research work regarding the mechanism which is accompanied by a fascinating short video documentary.