Expert to speak on historical technology in Lichfield

Part of the Antikythera Mechanism

Part of the Antikythera Mechanism

The subject of recent research raising questions about the history of technology set to be examined by a leading expert at a talk in Lichfield.

Professor Mike Edmunds from Cardiff University’s The Science and Technology Facilities Council will be delivering his lecture on The Antikythera Mechanism to the Lichfield Science & Engineering Society (LSES) at the Lichfield Garrick Studio on October 14 at 8pm.

What may well be the most extraordinary surviving artefact from the ancient Greek world was discovered just over a century ago.  In 1900, sponge divers off the coast of the Mediterranean island of Antikythera found a wreck which was to yield a device containing over thirty gear wheels dating from the 1st century BC and now known as the Antikythera Mechanism.

An LSES spokesman explained:

“The device is an order of magnitude more complicated than any surviving mechanism from the following millennium and there is no surviving precursor.  It is clear from its structure and inscriptions that its purpose was astronomical, including eclipse prediction.

“In this illustrated talk, Professor Edmunds will outline the results from his international research team, which has been using the most modern imaging methods to probe the device and its inscriptions.  The extraordinary sophistication of the Mechanism’s design has fundamental implications for the development of Greek astronomy and technology.  The latest results may suggest a link back to Archimedes and show that the Mechanism even had a dial to indicate when the Olympic Games should take place!”

Entry to the talk is £4 for visitors, free for students and members of the Lichfield Science & Engineering Society, the Burton-upon-Trent and District Engineering Society and the Stoke-on-Trent Association of Engineers. Tickets are not available in advance and can only be purchased on the door.

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