The Cosmos in the Antikythera Mechanism: ET Flunked Astronomy

That’s the title of a new, freely accessible scholarly paper on the Antikythera mechanism you can find here. Here’s the abstract:

The Antikythera Mechanism is a fragmentarily preserved Hellenistic astronomical machine with bronze gearwheels, made about the second century B.C. In 2005, new data were gathered leading to considerably enhanced knowledge of its functions and the inscriptions on its exterior. However, much of the front of the instrument has remained uncertain due to loss of evidence. We report progress in reading a passage of one inscription that appears to describe the front of the Mechanism as a representation of a Greek geocentric cosmology, portraying the stars, Sun, Moon, and all five planets known in antiquity. Complementing this, we propose a new mechanical reconstruction of planetary gearwork in the Mechanism, incorporating an economical design closely analogous to the previously identified lunar anomaly mechanism, and accounting for much unresolved physical evidence.

For all those ancient aliens enthusiasts out there, please note the line about the five planets known in antiquity. The Gadarene rush among some in of that ilk to label the mechanism as proof of high (read: alien) technology in the ancient world would of course be proven wrong by this analysis. We’d have another case (just like Sumerian and Babylonian astrolabes and astronomical texts, contra Zecharia Sitchin) where the “aliens” presumably behind this technology only knew about five planets in our solar system.

Amazing how consistent that is. Why? Because we’re talking about human naked eye astronomy, not alien knowledge.

2 thoughts on “The Cosmos in the Antikythera Mechanism: ET Flunked Astronomy

  1. Another thing I’ve thought about this device is: Why would ETs use gears? Why not just build an electronic computer, or something more advanced? And power it on Baghdad batteries? ;-P Why bronze? Why not one of those special alloys we always hear about from ancient astronaut proponents? While remarkable, nothing of this device speaks of aliens. In fact, it’s even more marvelous as a product of human ingenuity considering its historical context.

    • But the whole Von Daniken Trip centers on ancient humans being dumb as dirt, unable to even wipe their butts without The Space Brothers/Ancient Astronauts to teach them how to do it. That was as true of Fifties UFO Contactee cults as it was with late-period Von Daniken as it is now on the various History channels.

      For further commentary, search YouTube for “Prometheus and Bob”.

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