Casual Friday — Rebuilding the Antikythera Mechanism

A gentleman named Michael Wright (formerly Curator of Mechanical Engineering at the London Science Museum, and now of Imperial College, London) has completed a reconstruction of the Antikythera Mechanism. Wright’s machine is the first working model to incorporate all known features of the ancient gizmo, and it’s shown off here:

This video comes courtesy of New Scientist, which also provides a nice summary article.

This is great stuff, don’t get me wrong. But when I first saw the video, I was wondering what drove the surge of recent coverage of the mechanism — it’s been a few years since any “new news” has been released on the thing. Then I noticed that the New Scientist article is written by Jo Marchant, New Scientist’s opinion editor. And the article includes copious links to a new book she’s written on the mechanism.

Oh, well — so it’s a bit of a sales pitch. At least the book seems to be a good one (judging by the early reviews), and I’m happy to see this little bit of history get more publicity one way or another. I may just have to pick up a copy of the book and do a review for you all…

Thanks to Ben E. for bringing this video to my attention!

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