[SIGCIS-Members] Antikythera Dy at CHM!

Dag Spicer dspicer at computerhistory.org
Mon Apr 27 17:46:24 PDT 2015

Hello friends,

We have a fantastic day of events and lectures about the Antikythera Mechanism on May 13 at the Computer History Museum.  See Announcement below.

If you don’t know what the Antikythera Mechanism is, I especially encourage you to attend.  This unique object is forcing historians of early technology to drastically revise received wisdom about technological development in the West.  The world’s oldest computer?  You decide!


PS The lectures will be available on YouTube after the event if you can’t make it in person to Mountain View, California.  I will send a link to the group when ready.

Secrets of the Antikythera Mechanism

In 1900, sponge divers off the coast of the tiny Greek island of Antikythera made an astonishing discovery: the wreck of an ancient Roman ship lay 200 feet beneath the water, its dazzling cargo spread out over the ocean floor. Among the life-size statues and amphorae was an encrusted piece of metal, which after nearly a century of investigation, is finally revealing its secrets. Called the Antikythera Mechanism, study has shown that this improbably preserved object is actually an ancient Greek astronomical computer of a technical sophistication not seen until the clock making traditions of Medieval Europe—1,500 years after the Mechanism is believed to have been made (about 200 BC). Recent advances in computer imaging as well as painstaking scholarship have finally elucidated nearly all details of the Mechanism.

Join us as we dive into the mysterious history of the Antikythera Mechanism, guided by several world experts: marine archeologist Brendan Foley will describe his 2014 diving expedition to the original Antikythera wreck site; Michael Wright, former curator of mechanical engineering at the Science Museum in London, will describe the structure and recreation of the Mechanism at University College London and will be bringing a model of the device to the Museum for audience members to explore; and professor Nicolaos Alexopoulos will discuss sociology, engineering, and science in Ancient Greece.

For a schedule of the day’s activities and lectures, as well as to reserve seating, please see:

Dag Spicer
Senior Curator
Computer History Museum
Editorial Board, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
1401 North Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA 94043-1311

Tel: +1 650 810 1035
Fax: +1 650 810 1055

Twitter: @ComputerHistory

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