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Ancient Sky Calculator Awes Scientists

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Ancient sky calculator awes scientists


Nov. 29, 2006

Courtesy Cardiff University

and World Science staff


A group of sci­en­tists claims to have un­rav­elled the se­crets of a 2,000-year-old com­put­er, which they say could trans­form the way we think about the an­cient world.


Mike Ed­munds and Tony Freeth of Car­diff Uni­ver­si­ty in Car­diff, U.K., led the team whose mem­bers be­lieve they have fi­nal­ly cracked the work­ings of the An­ti­ky­thera Mech­an­ism, a clock-like as­tro­nom­i­cal cal­cu­la­tor from the sec­ond cen­tu­ry B.C.




Courtesy Jo Marchant, Nature




Di­vers ex­plor­ing a ship­wreck off the is­land of An­ti­ky­thera at the turn of the 20th cen­tu­ry found rem­nants of a bro­ken wood­en and bronze case con­tain­ing more than 30 gears.


Sci­en­tists have been try­ing to re­con­struct it ev­er since. The new re­search sug­gests it is more so­phis­ti­cat­ed than an­y­one thought.


De­tailed study of the gears show the mech­an­ism could track as­tro­nom­i­cal move­ments with re­mark­a­ble pre­ci­sion, Ed­munds and col­leagues said. The de­vice could fol­low the sun’s and moon’s move­ments through the Zo­di­ac, a belt-like re­gion of the heav­ens sur­round­ing the plane of the earth’s or­bit and of the sun’s ap­par­ent an­nu­al path.


The machine could al­so pre­dict eclipses and rec­re­ate the ir­reg­u­lar or­bit of the moon, the re­search­ers said, and might have pre­dicted the po­si­tions of some or all of the plan­ets.


The find­ings sug­gest Greek tech­nol­o­gy was far more ad­vanced than pre­vi­ously thought, Ed­munds and Freeth said: no oth­er civ­i­li­sa­tion is known to have made an­y­thing as com­pli­cat­ed for anoth­er thou­sand years.


“This de­vice is just ex­traor­di­nary, the on­ly thing of its kind. The de­sign is beau­ti­ful, the as­tron­o­my is ex­act­ly right. The way the me­chan­ics are de­signed just makes your jaw drop. Whoev­er has done this has done it ex­treme­ly well,” Ed­munds said.


The team used a new, pow­er­ful X-Ray com­put­er tech­nol­o­gy to help them study cor­rod­ed frag­ments of the ma­chine. Com­put­er gi­ant Hewlett-Packard Corp. pro­vid­ed im­ag­ing tech­nol­o­gy to en­hance the sur­face de­tails of the ma­chine.


The mech­an­ism is in over 80 pieces and stored in con­trolled con­di­tions in Ath­ens where it can­not be touched. Recre­at­ing its work­ings was a dif­fi­cult, pains­tak­ing pro­cess, in­volv­ing as­tro­no­mers, math­e­mati­cians, com­put­er ex­perts, script an­a­lysts and conserva­tion ex­perts, Ed­munds and col­leagues said.


The team is to un­veil its full find­ings at a two-day in­ter­na­tion­al con­fer­ence in Ath­ens from No­vem­ber 30 to De­cem­ber 1. The re­search al­so ap­pears in the Nov. 30 is­sue of the jour­nal Na­ture. The re­search­ers are now hop­ing to cre­ate a com­put­er mod­el of how the ma­chine worked, and, in time, a full work­ing rep­li­ca. It is still un­cer­tain what the an­cient Greeks used the mech­an­ism for, or how wide­spread this tech­nol­o­gy was, they said.


“It does raise the ques­tion what else were they mak­ing at the time. In terms of his­tor­ic and scar­ci­ty val­ue, I have to re­gard this mech­an­ism as be­ing more val­u­a­ble than the Mo­na Lisa,” Ed­munds said.

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  • 2 weeks later...

About forty years ago, using one of a number of small jars found with metal rods in them in a pyramid chamber, scientists added some (slightly acid) grape juice to try out what they suspected, and got a small but noticeable electric current (about a volt as I remember) flowing.

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About forty years ago, using one of a number of small jars found with metal rods in them in a pyramid chamber, scientists added some (slightly acid) grape juice to try out what they suspected, and got a small but noticeable electric current (about a volt as I remember) flowing.

I think it's a long way from a mechanical device like this, and the new age speculation surrounding the "Rods of Ra", being for the following purpose:

theory is that the statues are holding "scrolls" in their hands. This
explanation is contradicted by
observation and by the evidence. Actual Egyptian Rods have been found, analyzed, and displayed from time to time at many Egyptian exhibitions and museums. Shown to the right is a photograph of the actual Rods of Pharaoh Pepi II (last ruler of the 6th dynasty, 2150 - 2134) which were displayed at the Metropolitan Museum. Note the dis-similar materials, copper and zinc, and the removable carbonite core.


Research indicates that copper and zinc Rods filled with charcoal, magnetite, quartz crystals or other special materials seem to have certain energetic qualities that provided the ancient Egyptian ruling class a means of connecting directly with the energy systems of the human body and the
universal energy of deliberate creation
. This allowed a powerful point of focus for the work of balance and self-perfection.

(from here: http://www.rodsofra.com/what_are.htm Emotional editorializing comments in red, my emphasis to contrast with real science. Also you can buy these harmonizing sticks from the same web site, incidently :wicked: )


I don't know, I might be wrong but I suspect the "research" surrounding these is not at all on the same level of professionalism that is seen in the device they just found. I could also easily say of this device above, "the 'conventional' theory is..." and then offer up some wild speculation that it was the unlocking device for the doors of Atlantis that once deciphered will bring about a harmonic convergence and world peace, but that would have little support other than my own superficial comparisons I would layer on it to make it sound plausible.


Do you have any supporting research from credible scientists that these were used for an ancient New Age type healing device?

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Excellent and fascinating invention - another testimony to the wisdom of the ancient Greeks... the non-Abrahamic ancient Greeks :)

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