View Full Version here: : Antikythera computer in Lego

13-12-2010, 08:10 PM
Some people have too much time and skills.



13-12-2010, 08:14 PM
G'Day Bert;

The same item turned up the 'Media' forum yesterday (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=69307) .. amazing stuff (the ancient Greek version, that is not so much the lego replica ..).

Luise was interested in the historical aspect. So am I.


13-12-2010, 08:22 PM
It makes you wonder what else we have lost over time doesn't it.


13-12-2010, 08:41 PM
I find it so incredible that this thing was made 2000 years ago, I've started to question its age.

I think the original age was estimated from inscriptions on it. Not sure what other evidence they have for its age.

Still haven't found out what it was made from ..


13-12-2010, 08:59 PM
I believe it was a sort of bronze.
I remember when it was brought up from the bottom.
It was totally legit - covered in scale and stuff ( not forgetting that copper STOPS nearly all forms of life from attacking it).
I don't think there's any need to doubt how old it is.
It was probably passed down by generations for another thousand years for all we know.
They were as clever as we were - it only takes a nasty virus to knock out a pocket of civilisation - and all of a sudden - where did all this stuff come from?

13-12-2010, 10:12 PM
The ingenious person who made this was well ahead of their time. Amazing!

14-12-2010, 07:29 AM
Apparently there were three other similar planetarium-like, mechanical devices known to have been in existence and two were confirmed to have been constructed by Archimedes. Two were located in Rome 30 years later than the estimated date of the shipwreck and the third, was owned by Posidonius (astronomer, philosopher, etc).

The Antikythera mechanism was the fourth known device of the era.

Most of Archimedes' manuscripts, (including some 'blueprints'), relating to the constructions of his inventions survived following the burning of the Library of Alexandria (starting from 48 BC). One can only wonder what else may have been lost from these fires.

I wouldn't mind betting that the Chinese had similar technologies (obviously developed completely independently), from perhaps even earlier than Archimedes' day (287 - 212 BC). They were real sea-farers and thus had practical motivations for compiling detailed Astronomical predictive technologies.

Fascinating stuff. Love to know more about the Chinese side of it all but the various political entities in China appears to have, (perhaps), destroyed all records of it, down through the ages.

Another interesting take-home is that human intelligence capable of constructing these kinds of detailed mechanisms, has clearly been around for at least this long. Interesting that the precision of such mechanisms disappeared for about 20 centuries (from the historical record) and didn't resurface again until the 19th Century, though.

Perhaps Archimedes et al had assistance from 'the others' ! (X-files stuff.. just kidding).
PS: Above info sourced from Wiki.

15-12-2010, 09:27 AM
Gives me an excuse to buy some Lego!

The chinese DID in fact have a computer, i think it was pretty big and made of wood or something......

15-12-2010, 09:38 AM
Sounds like a good topic for another thread !!

I'd love to wrap my mind around that one.

Got any more info on it to create a new thread, OBMYp ??


16-12-2010, 12:13 PM

"I remember when it was brought up from the bottom."

That was in 1901 - you certainly are holding up well !!!

I first heard about it about 15 years ago and thought that was a recent discovery until I read about it.
It seems each time there is a new discovery by using a better mthod of extracting more detail from it the press gets a hold of the story.
The Micro-Tomography done a few years ago has revealed almost everything dimensional about the remaining encrusted parts including about 95% of all the text.
see link
Or the official project site

There are videos of them looking through the device in 2D microlayers - digital sectioning.
So now they think they know how it worked, what it did, even from where it originated or at least the region it was built for.

Truly amazing device and story.


16-12-2010, 12:49 PM
Just imagine if that 'computer' never was lost or found earlier....
Would astronomy have developed 'more'????
Would we have interstellar travel by now...etc etc?
I know....." what if's " ... bit like Stevens post ; http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=69476


16-12-2010, 01:47 PM
G'Day Bartman !

Interesting questions there fella ..

To my way of thinking, the machine was kind of a mechanical means for documenting (and repeatedly generating) the observational data. Perhaps they chose a mechanical means to document it, rather than words and maths, because these means may not have reached the inventor's intended audience too well at the time. I wonder how many folk in those days would have understood a maths equation ??

It also predicted lunar eclipses etc, and the olympic years.

The device obviously came about because of observational data obtained by looking at the planets/stars etc. What was lacking in those days, perhaps, was the theory to explain the movements of the moon, planets etc. Whilst the machine may have gone missing, the data about the movements obviously remained for anyone who cared to look at the night sky and write the data down.

It took, perhaps, another five or six hundred years to develop the theory (if we use Kepler or Newton) to develop it.

I guess I don't think its loss would have made all that much impact on astronomy.

I reckon it would've made a big impact on the clock-making industry, maritime/navigation and, perhaps, the analog computing worlds, though.
(Just my 2 cents worth)


16-12-2010, 04:28 PM
I can't remember where i seen it, i tried searching on the net and got nothing, i'm sure it was in a book somewhere.....

16-12-2010, 04:31 PM
Ok .. don't worry 'bout it.
Thanks for looking .. much appreciated.


16-12-2010, 06:09 PM
I hope lego gets a hold of the plans, and markets a kit. That would bring back some fond childhood memories....


17-12-2010, 01:57 PM
OOOH I found it!
Well just an image of it, can't make heads or tails of the site itself.
Sorry about the size of the link, i don't know how to en-small it!
Long link of the year candidate?
http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4071/4557371574_743714fb36_o.jpg&imgrefurl=http://airbenderastronomy.tumblr.com/&usg=__Xp6t9u-1T2Kg98eCkD8MQQDJnPs=&h=677&w=659&sz=332&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=VdJr1vgEX7WYtM:&tbnh=137&tbnw=131&prev=/images%3Fq%3DChinese%2Bastronomy%2B calculator%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26saf e%3Doff%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-au%26biw%3D1247%26bih%3D559%26tbs%3 Disch:1&um=1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=422&ei=pending&oei=LdEKTaSeKYWyvwPzq9DhBQ&esq=8&page=1&ndsp=21&ved=1t:429,r:6,s:0&tx=65&ty=43

17-12-2010, 03:39 PM
Hmm .. interesting .. I wish there was some supporting text with it.
If the thing at the top was a moving planetarium, it would certainly have been a very impressive invention.

I wonder what the dude on the middle layer is looking at ?

I wonder what era it might be from ?

Thanks kindly, OBMYp .. your efforts there are much appreciated.