The Antikythera Mechanism examined

“What a remarkable find!» That’s what archaeologist Ioannis Svoronou said after he examined the Antikythera Mechanism in 1903. The puzzling artifact had been taken from the ancient shipwreck three years earlier. It has since been shrouded in mystery, baffling scientists and researchers, some of whom have even produced far-fetched theories about the presence of extraterrestrials. In November, a multidisciplinary scientific team consisting of Greek and foreign researchers will be holding a conference in Athens where at last some answers regarding the nature and use of the mechanism will be provided. Was it a planetarium? An astronomical clock? A primitive computer? An astrolabe? A navigation instrument? All these theories will be scrutinized using the latest developments in technology to probe the secrets of a mechanism that has intrigued scientists for more than a century. Two members of the team spoke to Kathimerini: Xenophon Moussas, an associate professor of physics and space at Athens University and the director of the astrophysics laboratory, and Yiannis Bitsakis, an expert in historical document analysis.