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Unraveling the mystery of the device

What is the Antikythera Mechanism? «Researchers rightly assumed it was an instrument for astronomical measurements,» Moussas said. «Archimedes, as Cicero mentions, had created a planetarium, an instrument that could show the position of the celestial bodies at any particular moment, which was probably used for teaching students and rulers of that time, but also for navigation. For other similar mechanisms to have been constructed – which never reached us because they were made of bronze, which the ancients recycled – is quite likely. Today, with the first findings of the research we can say that it was a complex mechanism that could accurately calculate the position of the sun and moon and the phases of the moon in the sky for a period of over four years.» Moussas said the scientists have deciphered thousands of words on the surface and interior. These are like two manuals, he said, one with astronomical indications and another with instructions for use. «It has 30 gear wheels with teeth that rotate around 10 axles,» he said. «It has scales and subdivisions as well as four dials like the ones on clocks today with one or more pointers. This was how they kept a calendar for the phases of the moon etc. All the scientific findings have shaken our beliefs until now about the achievements of the ancient Greeks and their acquisition of knowledge. Through this research on the Antikythera Mechanism the history of science will be rewritten. It is a pity that funds are not provided to Greek universities for research. If we had the budget of a soccer team we would have sent a Greek to the moon.»