the
antikythera
mechanism

in 1900, a crew of greek sponge divers discovered the wreck of a vessel that had sunk off the coast of the island antikythera around 60 bc. numerous artifacts, such as bronze and marble statues, amphorae, pottery, glassware, jewellery and coins, were retrieved in 1901. one of the objects was an unspectacular lump of corroded bronze that proved to be the remains of a dedicated astronomical calculating machine, the world's first known analog computer.

the antikythera mechanism was a hand-powered model of the solar system. It was used to calculate astronomical cycles and to predict eclipses. this project provides a 3d view of the largest fragment as well as a working reconstruction. the model can be freely panned and zoomed; the slider at the bottom allows for crossfading both fragment and replica. the animation speed has been set to one year per minute.

download replica model (.glb, 42mb), fragment model courtesy of alexander jones, new york university, faculty digital archive.



(ȼ) thomas weibel, basel