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The gears of the Antikythera Mechanism: an educational pathfinder to the solar system

  • Xenophon Moussas (a1), Georgios Bampasidis (a1), Yanis Bitsakis (a2), Theodosios Tassios (a3), Magdalini Anastasiou (a4), Kyriakos Efstathiou (a5), Georgios Fasoulopoulos (a6), Isidoros Kioleoglou (a7), Mike Edmunds (a8), Mary Zafeiropoulou (a9), Manos Roumeliotis (a10), Tom Malzbender (a11), Andrew Ramsey (a12), Dionysios Kriaris (a13), Evangelos Spandagos (a14), Nikos Giannopoulos (a15), Amalia Porligi (a15), Eleni Daniels (a16), Michael T. Wright (a17), Reem Sabry (a18), Hoda El-Mikaty (a18), Göran Henriksson (a19), Ing-Marie Munktell (a20), Flora Vafea (a21), Stratos Koufos (a22), Dimitrios Prassopoulos (a23), Vasili Zafiropoulos (a24), Andreas Karakonstantis (a25), Katerina Aggeioplasti (a23), Eleni Delidou (a23), Costas Papoulias (a26), George Papoulias (a26), Paul Haley (a27), Jamal Mimouni (a28), David Valls-Gabaud (a29), Matt Biggs (a27), Drahomir Chochol (a30), Jacek Szubiakowski (a31), Ela Plucinska (a31), Anna Jacyno (a31), Alexandros Kakouris (a1), Pavel Pal'uš (a32), Danica Jančušková (a33), Mária Feriančiková (a32), Krystof Czart (a31), Nikos Xenakis (a34), Magda Evgenia Gkini (a29), Eva Perpyraki (a35), Leonidas Tziannoudakis (a36) and Panagiotis Antoniou (a23) (a37)...


The Antikythera Mechanism is the most sophisticated extant ancient astronomical instrument and analogue computer known and was assembled sometime between 150 and 100 BCE, almost a century after the death of Archimedes. The mechanism has a great educational potential as it appeals to inquiring minds as an astonishing artefact of science and technology. The latest research findings reveal significant cultural and social functions in its operations. This astonishing astronomical instrument has a clear interdisciplinary valueand it has that it may be used as an educational medium, to engage the general public, and especially to attract students both to/from exact sciences and to/from the humanities. The astronomical and technical knowledge embedded in the mechanism can also be used to introduce some aspects of modern science through the unknown technological achievements of Hellenic antiquity.



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Freeth, T., Bitsakis, Y., Moussas, X., Seiradakis, J.H., Tselikas, A., Mangou, H., Zafeiropoulou, M., Hadland, R., Bate, D., Ramsey, A., Allen, M., Crawley, A., Hockley, P., Malzbender, T., Gelb, D., Ambrisco, W. & Edmunds, M.G. 2006, Nature, 444, 587
Freeth, T., Jones, A., Steele, J.M. & Bitsakis, Y. 2008, Nature, 454, 614
Moussas, X. 1991, in Hellenic Educational Encyclopedia, Vol. 14 (Athens: Ekdotiki Athinon)
Moussas, X., Seiradakis, J., Freeth, T., Edmunds, M., Bitsakis, Y., Babasides, G., Ioannidis-Vamvakas, D., Fasoulopoulos, G., Daniels, E. & Kriaris, D. 2007, in Communicating Astronomy to the Public, IAU Commission 55 conference 2007 (Athens)
Price, D.J. De Solla 1959, Scientific American, 200, 60
Price, D.J. de Solla 1974, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society (New Series), 64, part 7, 1
Rediadis, P. 1903, Der Astrolabos von Antikythera (Athens: Beck & Barth)
Roumeliotis, M. 1999, The Antikythera Mechanism, Multimedia CD-ROM, (Thessaloniki: Technological Museum of Thessaloniki)
Svoronos, J.N. 1903, Die Funde von Antikythera (Athens: Beck & Barth)
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Wright, M.T. 2007, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 32, 27
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