NEWS

From extraterrestrials to digital tomography

Some of the most renowned researchers to probe the secrets of the mechanism in the 1950s were British scientist Derek de Solla Price and Greek nuclear physicist Charalambos Karakalos. Price reconstructed the device but its accuracy was disputed later. Another British scientist, Michael Wright, wrote various articles focusing on the advanced nature of the technology developed by the ancient Greeks and Byzantines. However, without an official answer as to the purpose of the mysterious device theories on the nature and origin of the mechanism became more extreme and less credible. Wild theorizing One of the scientists to take an interest in the mechanism was the famous Erich von Daniken, who associated the device with extraterrestrials. «The main difference with past attempts is that for the first time the research has been undertaken by a multidisciplinary team and not individual scientists even though the most advanced means have been at our disposal,» Bitsakis and Moussas said, adding that «in September 2005, the Hewlett-Packard research team sent expert scientists to Athens who developed a unique digital PTM Dome, enabling the reappearance of texts and inscriptions that had virtually disappeared from the surface of the mechanism and which are not discernable with the best conventional and digital photographic systems.» «A month later the company X-Tek sent the pioneering tomography Blade Runner, weighing 8 tons, to the National Archaeological Museum,» they continued. «It is a machine that has been designed and constructed for specific research and costs a million euros. The company owner was impassioned with the subject of the Antikythera Mechanism and offered the tomography free. The examination revealed unknown parts in the interior of the device. For the first time in 2,000 years inscriptions no thicker than a 10th of millimeter were read.» The team members say the technology offers great possibilities. «We all feel we are experiencing the best moments in our lives,» said Moussas, who has always been interested in creating such a multidisciplinary team. «Thanks to the contribution of new technology we have data in our hands that will shed light not only the mechanism’s secret but will also provide significant information on the technological civilization of the ancient Greeks, overturning previous data.» Moussas, who has been visiting the mechanism since his student years, says the subject has fascinated him since his youth. «Today I have the chance to explore the issue personally,» he said. «More information is being revealed every day and by November we shall be in a position to provide an answer about the mechanism’s identification.»