Replica of ancient Greek astronomical mechanism on display in China

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HEFEI, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- A replica of an ancient Greek mechanism used to calculate the positions of heavenly bodies such as the sun and the moon is on display at the Museum of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC).

The exhibition displays a replica of the largest piece of the mechanism, a replica of the device and relevant astronomy knowledge.

The Antikythera Mechanism was discovered in 1900 in a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera. Dating back to around 100-150 BC, the mechanism is made of bronze and consists of multiple gears and dials, said Guan Yuzhen, deputy curator of the museum in Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province.

Since the discovery of the mechanism, it has attracted the attention of scholars all over the world.

By interpreting the inscriptions of the remaining parts and studying the astronomical theories, scholars realized that the mechanism could be used for different purposes, including the calculation of heavenly bodies, prediction of certain astronomical phenomena, and conversion between different calendars, according to Guan.

"Some even call the Antikythera Mechanism 'the earliest analog computer in the world,'" Guan said.

The exhibition is co-hosted by the USTC and the National Hellenic Research Foundation, with the purpose of showing the development of science and technology in the Hellenistic world and promoting academic exchanges between China and Greece, according to the museum.

The Antikythera Mechanism exhibition toured in a dozen of places, mostly in European countries, before it came to China. The exhibition will last until the end of December, the museum said. Enditem

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