“a completely astonishing revelation”

If you haven’t heard of the Antikythera Mechanism before this will probably be more startling than the revealed seabed off Rathlin Island. The “technological marvel of antiquity” was discovered by sponge divers in 1901 near Antikythera, a small island off Greece’s south coast, and has perplexed and astonished researchers ever since. The complicated gearing mechanism is believed to have been constructed between 150-100BC. In 2005 a 8-tonne X-ray machine was transported to Greece to study the mechanism and the results, which have just been published in Nature, link the mechanism not just to scientific calculations, but to important cultural events. The report has also been picked up here and here. And there’s a fascinating video presentation at the Nature website well worth viewing.