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Antikythera Mechanism

The Antikythera Mechanism is a mechanical miniature of the Ancient Universe. This extraordinary astronomical mechanism from about 100 BC employed 30 bronze gears to make calculations based on cycles of the Solar system, i.e. the calendars, the phases and the positions of the Sun and the Moon. It also predicted the solar and lunar eclipses and, possibly, the positions of the planets.

The whole international community of experts on the ancient world was astonished when its corroded remains were recovered in 1901 by Greek sponge divers, who found them at the bottom of the sea near the island of Antikythera.
Research over the last half century has revealed that the Mechanism linked the cycles of human institutions with the celestial cycles embedded in its gearwork. For example, the Olympiad Dial, a four-year display, tracked the cycle of the Panhellenic Games, a central part of ancient Greek culture and a common basis for chronology.

The Natural History Museum of Crete hosts an exhibition on the incredible story of the Antikythera Mechanism till the 31st of October 2010.

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