The arms and faces of ancient statuary litter the seabed at the site of a shipwreck off the coast of Greece. But that's not the most interesting find. Encrusted with over 2,000 years of ... See full summary »

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Mike Edmunds ...
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Tony Freeth ...
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Roger Hadland ...
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Alexander Jones ...
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Dimitris Kourkoumelis ...
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John Steele ...
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Panagiotis Tselekas ...
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Michael Wright ...
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Mary Zafeiropoulou ...
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The arms and faces of ancient statuary litter the seabed at the site of a shipwreck off the coast of Greece. But that's not the most interesting find. Encrusted with over 2,000 years of mineral deposits are highly engineered gears clearly visible as part of a mysterious device dating back to about 50 BCE. Using X-ray technology and working off of the realization that the gears' teeth are prime numbers relating to astronomy, the device is revealed to be the earliest known computer used for predicting eclipses and demonstrating planetary motion. Written by B J Hall

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TV-G
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3 April 2013 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Marvelous documentary about a mysterious geared mechanism
24 August 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Nova is an excellent series no matter what they do, but this episode deserves to be at the top of their "best" list. Discovered in the sunken hold of an ancient Roman galleon in about 1900, the Antikythera mechanism has baffled and intrigued anyone who read about it over the past century. I've been reading about it since I was small, and always wondered exactly what it was made to do, and who made it.

These are questions that you would think couldn't be answered today, but the Nova special gives us many answers about the mechanism, and it is a fascinating 60 minutes. I could say the mechanism has become an obsession of mine, and throughout this documentary we meet people who are also obsessed with it. Their observations on the mechanism are fascinating, and show why PBS and Nova are important to our lives. They bring our history and our world into sharper focus, and without public television the world would be much less than it currently is.

This is a documentary that should be seen by all. It shows just how the ancient Greeks, and in particular one ancient Greek genius, tried to make sense of the sky and earth around them. Archaeologists, astronomers, mathematicians, mechanical engineers, and historians all have a part in the story of the Antikythera device, and this Nova production brings them all together to tell us the wonderful trail of events that led up to their eventual understanding of what the mechanism was, and how it worked. Great stuff that is not to be missed.


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