Saturday, May 5, 2018

Overlaying Archaeological Sketches

Antikythera mechanism

Antikythera mechanism
Watercolour, oil pastel, marker
©2018 Charlene Brown

An intricate mechanism, considered to be the world’s first analog computer dating from the first century BCE, was found in 1900 in a shipwreck near the island of Antikythera in Greece. The recovered fragments of what became known as the Antikythera Mechanism are in the National Archeological Museum in Athens. I have reassembled these fragments and overlaid the result on a sketch I made at the archaeological site of the school where Poseidonius taught in Rhodes.

There are many theories as to who designed and built this ingenious mechanism. Our tour guide on a shore excursion from a Black Sea cruise in 2007 was a firm believer in the hypothesis, based on x-ray computed tomography and notations about solar eclipses, that it did in fact originate at this location in Rhodes.