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Ancient Greek Astronomical Mechanism Designed to Record Olympiads, New Study in Nature Reports

July 30, 2008

The Antikythera Mechanism, which was used in ancient Greece to make astronomical calculations, has now been discovered to also record the times of the Olympiads. The findings appear in the July 31 edition of the journal Nature. One of the study’s co-authors, Alexander Jones of NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, discusses the Antikythera Mechanism and its newly discovered uses in the below video. “A four-year cycle is a bit of a surprise on the mechanism because it doesn’t really have an astronomical function; it has a cultural function,” Jones explains. “It was the timing for the games that the Greeks cities organized. These were not events of any scientific significance, but they were events of enormous social significance in the Greek world.”

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This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Graduate School of Arts and Science, Research

Type: Press Release

Inside out: computer tomography of the Antikythera Mechanism’s main fragment allowed for accurate modelling.

Inside out: computer tomography of the Antikythera Mechanism’s main fragment allowed for accurate modelling.

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