Reconstructing the Antikythera Mechanism
Perth Cultural Centre
From Friday 2 February 2024
Included with General Admission
Beaufort Link Gallery, Level One
Steeped in mystery since its discovery over 120 years ago, the Antikythera Mechanism has inspired people around the world to construct models, with varying degrees of accuracy, in order to understand its precision mechanics.
Known as the world’s first mechanical computer, the Antikythera Mechanism was an intricate device created in ancient Greece around 200 BCE. Its estimated 69 gears performed complex mathematical calculations to predict the location of the sun, moon, and planets. It was also used to track moon phases, solar and lunar eclipses as seen between Cyprus and Sicily.
In 2022, Western Australian engineer Dr Nick Andronis completed a scale replica to extraordinary technical accuracy. He studied the latest research into the mechanism, including highly detailed CT scans and wanted to replicate, as much as possible, the tools and techniques that would have been available to the ancient Greeks. It is the first known replica based on the most recent research and digital reconstructions.
Both the original Antikythera Mechanism and Nick’s replicas were made possible through shared collective knowledge. The ancient Greeks drew on the knowledge of the Babylonians and Egyptians to create the Antikythera mechanism. Nick was able to create this working bronze replica as researchers continue to develop and share new understandings of the Mechanism.
Visit these exquisitely hand-crafted replicas made from bronze and sheoak, jarrah, wandoo and Tasmanian pine.
Activate the scaled-up wooden version to see how the mechanism works as you learn more about the extraordinary story of the Antikythera Mechanism.
The WA Museum would like to acknowledge the Consulate of Greece in Perth, Dr Nick Andronis, Dr Tony Freeth and the National Archaeological Museum of Athens for their contributions to this exhibition.
Front and back of the bronze replica Antikythera mechanism