Archive for June 7th, 2006

Researchers Find Hidden Greek Text On ‘World’s Oldest Astronomy Computer’

Science, Sophistication of Ancestors, Uncategorized, Unexplained Artifact | Posted by Chris Parker
Jun 07 2006

The size of a shoebox, a mysterious bronze device scooped out of a Roman-era shipwreck at the dawn of the 20th century has baffled scientists for years. Now a British researcher has stunningly established it as the world’s oldest surviving astronomy computer. 

A team of Greek and British scientists probing the secrets of the Antikythera Mechanism has managed to decipher ancient Greek inscriptions unseen for over 2,000 years, members of the project say.

“Part of the text on the machine, over 1,000 characters, had already been deciphered, but we have succeeded in doubling this total,” said physician Yiannis Bitsakis, part of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from universities in Athens, Salonika and Cardiff, the Athens National Archaeological Museum and the “We have now deciphered 95 percent of the text,” he told AFP.

Scooped out of a Roman shipwreck located in 1900 by sponge divers near the southern Greek island of Antikythera, and kept at the Athens National Archaeological Museum, the Mechanism contains over 30 bronze wheels and dials, and is covered in astronomical inscriptions.

Probably operated by crank, it survives in three main pieces and some smaller fragments.

“(The device) could calculate the position of certain stars, at least the Sun and Moon, and perhaps predict astronomical phenomena,” said astrophysicist Xenophon Moussas of Athens University. “It was probably rare, if not unique,” he added.

The rarity of the Antikythera Mechanism precluded its removal from the museum, so an eight-tonne ‘body scanner’ had to be assembled on-site for the privately-funded project, which used three-dimensional tomography to expose the unseen inscriptions.

The first appraisal of the Mechanism’s purpose was put forward in the 1960s by British science historian Derek Price, but the scientists’ latest discovery raises more questions. “It is a puzzle concerning astronomical and mathematical knowledge in antiquity,” said Moussas. “The Mechanism could actually rewrite certain chapters in this area.” “The challenge is to place this device into a scientific context, as it comes almost out of nowhere… and flies in the face of established theory that considers the ancient Greeks were lacking in applied technical knowledge,” adds Bitsakis, also of Athens University.

The researchers are also looking at the broader remains of the Roman ship—believed to have sunk around 80 BC —for clues to the Mechanism’s origin. One theory under examination is that the device was created in an academy founded by the ancient Stoic philosopher Poseidonios on the Greek island of Rhodes. The writings of 1st-century AD Roman orator and philosopher Cicero—himself a former student of Poseidonios—cite a device with similarities to the Mechanism.

“Like Alexandria, Rhodes was a great centre of astronomy at the time,” said Moussas. “The boat where the device was discovered could have been part of a convoy to Rome, bearing treasure looted from the island for the purpose of a triumph parade staged by Julius Caesar.”

The new findings are to be discussed at an international congress ( scheduled to be held in Athens in November.


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Measuring Your Christian Faith Through Belief in the Unicorn; With Pictures.

Church of Darwin, Dinosaurs in Literature, Fin De Siecle, Religious,, Science, Sophistication of Ancestors, Uncategorized, Unexplained Artifact | Posted by Chris Parker
Jun 07 2006


Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn? …Job 39


Living as Children of Light 

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts….Ephesians 4

In the above passage, Paul is explaining that the Gentiles (unGodly) are in fact ignorant of spiritual things–but that Christians should not be. We should know how and by whom the world was created. Christians should know that we were created and not “evolved” and should know that there is a purpose for this life and a judgement to follow.

Christians should know and believe that the Bible is “God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”


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