An Ancient Greek Computer – Herakleidon Museum
“AN ANCIENT GREEK COMPUTER”
A NEW UNIT TO BE INCLUDED IN THE EXHIBITION VOYAGE
Under the Auspices of the Hellenic Navy General Staff
A new unit will enrich the exhibition VOYAGE – Greek Shipbuilding and Seafaring from antiquity to modern times. It will focus on the century of research during which scientists have tried to understand the Antikythera Mechanism.
Through rare exhibits that are being shown for the first time, early and contemporary models of the mechanism, explanatory texts, drawings and photographs, the Museum Herakleidon will present to the general public pivotal moments in the study of the most complicated mechanism of antiquity (2nd-1st cent. BC), aiming to showcase the advanced scientific knowledge of the ancient Greeks, their mathematical and technological achievements and, most importantly, their innovative spirit.
Among others, the new acquisitions of the Museum Herakleidon include:
-The early, historical model of the mechanism, constructed of a cigar box and cardboard by the British physicist, mathematician and science historian, Derek de Solla Price, who proved that it was not an astrolabe, as scientists had believed until then, but “the oldest surviving example of scientific technology and completely changes our ideas about ancient Greek technology” (Scientific American, 1959).
-The first of three bronze models of the mechanism, built in 1980 by the American professor of Geophysics and Astrophysics Robert Deroski, based on the research of Price (who gifted another copy of the mechanism to the National Archaeological Museum).
-Unpublished technical drawings of the mechanism by Derek de Solla Price.
The new unit of “Voyage” will also include:
-The more recent reproduction of the mechanism that was constructed under the guidance of professors Dr. John Seiradakis and Dr. Kyriakos Efstathiou of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki and according to the recent discoveries of international researchers,
-A series of radiographs of the mechanism and other unpublished documents of the nuclear physicist of National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos”, Charalambos P. Karakalos, who closely collaborated with Price and provided him invaluable help in the mid-20th century.
Furthermore, within the new unit “An Ancient Greek Computer”, a drawing reproducing the ancient workshop of the unknown creators of the Antikythera Mechanism will be shown for the first time, created by the archaeologist Yannis Nakas in collaboration with John Seiradakis.
Moreover, on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, at 19:00, in the building of 16 Herakleidon Str., in Thissio, John Seiradakis, professor emeritus of Astronomy at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki will give a talk on “The Antikythera Mechanism: general description and recent research results”. (Attendance is free, on a first come first served basis.)