Forbidden Knowledge ; Ancient Medical Secrets Documentary



human civilization has come a long way over the last two and a half thousand years this ancient classical world must have been a very different place to our modern age a time when life was much simpler a time without the stresses of modern life in a world without computers and information technology but we may soon have to change our adil accrue of the ancient world clues from the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea are set to reveal this was a world more advanced than we could ever have imagined in ancient discoveries we will travel back in time to discover the amazing ancient roots of technologies we like to think of as modern new research is beginning to suggest that many of the inventions of the last 200 years may in fact have already been known to the ancient Greeks and Romans much of what we have recently discovered we may in fact have just rediscovered the Greeks and Romans were also intensely practical people many of the things which they devised planned that invented preceded by 2,000 years things that we like to think of as modern at the heart of this story of ancient achievement lies a mysterious and arcane machine one so complex that many have refused to believe it could have been built by the ancient Greeks hidden for centuries beneath the Mediterranean Sea encased in thick corrosion it remained an enigma until 20th century science glimpse inside what they saw inside astonished them a mass of gears and combs a machine but what was it for and who had created it for a hundred years it has been a riddle which intrigued but baffled those who tried to understand the mysterious object known as the Antikythera mechanism but now finally its story can be told that story began just over 100 years ago in the year 1900 it was early spring when captain condos and his crew sponge divers found themselves sheltering from the storm miles off course by the little Greek island of Antikythera as the weather cleared the captain decided to make the most of his unplanned stop by diving in the deep clear waters of the island the water was deep some 200 feet but then the deep water was where the best sponges were found but so far down there was always the danger a diver might return to the surface with the notorious bends once in the water the diver started his first descent but water weighted him on the bottom were not sponges as he looked around he saw what appeared to be dead bodies scattered in all directions terrified he quickly signal to be pulled back to the boat some thought the diver mad perhaps he had the bend but the truth was far far stranger than them 2,000 years ago another ship had sailed these waters on its way from Rhodes to deliver a precious cargo to a wealthy Roman citizen just like the sponge divers this ship had also been caught in a storm she too was driven far off course to the island of Antikythera but this ship was not destined to survive here she sang and here she still lay captain Condor sent another diver to investigate the wild story of bodies what had at first appeared to be dead bodies were in fact the most beautiful marble and bronze statues imaginable the remnants of that ancient wreck along with the statues other treasures such as decorated Greek vases and jewelry were winched to the surface it was the find of the decade apps the century and the breathtaking statues made front-page news one of the most perfect bronzes recovered was named the Antikythera youth the Beast was universally acknowledged as a work of genius it had clearly belonged to a Roman of exquisite taste and fantastic wealth a Roman destined for disappointment as this cargo never arrived along with the youth a fine known as the philosophers head were the highlights of the wreck two faces that had not been seen by the world for over 2,000 years but the greatest work of genius from the wreck still lay unrecognized this rusting lump of corrosion held the key to one of the greatest periods in human history the Hellenistic period and perhaps the greatest achievement of that time two and a half thousand years ago the Mediterranean was a place where science philosophy and art flourish the Greeks known as Halim's were living in what many regard as a golden age they had invented democracy opened up the fields of mathematics and science and introduced the world to philosophy they were inquisitive and inventive no different in many ways from us today in trying to understand their world they had created this strange machine all that 21st century descendants had to do was work out what they had created it for part of that answer lay far from Antikythera in a London Museum display case 20 years ago Michael Wright curator of engineering at the Science Museum in London came upon another mysterious ancient mechanical device although much less complex there were similarities with the Antikythera mechanism we call this the Byzantine sundial calendar we think it dates from about 500 AD it appears to be a sundial which is also a mechanical calendar it shows the passing of days indicated by the age of the Moon within the month the gear wheels look surprisingly modern complicated mathematics and a detailed knowledge of astronomy would have been necessary to create such an object Michael Wright decided to build a model of the device to explore how it would have worked the model shows the positions of the sun and moon within the zodiac at any given date as well as the age of the moon here you have the letter giving the day that's saying alpha a that says day one of the month and correspondingly in the in the circular opening you have the the black disc showing this is New Moon now I click it forward day by a day that's beta B day 2 day 3 day 4 day 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 well at 15 and there is the full moon the shiny disc the other dials show the moon and the Sun going around the zodiac this instrument is is much more simple from the Antikythera mechanism but what's exciting about it is to have found another instrument very obviously in the Hellenistic tradition because of the Greek lettering and also having gear wheels so now we have not just one mechanism that tells us the Greeks had gears we have to we've doubled the evidence although similar it is estimated that the sundial calendar only had eight gear wheels where the Antikythera device had at least 29 allowing for much more complicated calculations could the Antikythera mechanism be a mechanical calendar as well one many times more complicated than the Byzantium machine yet over six hundred years older but in an age supposedly without machines and modern technology who could have created such a device they would have to have been an expert in both mathematics and engineering at Jeanne's centuries perhaps even millennia ahead of their time one man who fitted that description was Archimedes the most respected mathematician and inventor of his age Archimedes lived during the Hellenistic period in the Greek city-state of Syracuse on what is today Sicily off the coast of Italy during his lifetime the Mediterranean was a turbulent war-torn place a world in which his talent from military invention was put to good use by both his fellow Greeks and the aggressive new power of Rome that was slowly spreading its tentacles across the Mediterranean today he is perhaps best remembered for the revolutionary invention known as the Archimedean screw used to move water or seeds uphill but Archimedes was also fascinated by other difficult mechanical problems such as how to accurately measure distances the greatest challenge of all however was to solve the puzzle of what caused the rising and setting of the Sun the changing seasons and the strange movement of the moon and planets what in short were the mechanics of time many years earlier Archimedes had travelled across the Mediterranean to the most important cultural center of the Hellenistic world Alexandria Egypt Alexandria was the most sophisticated place on earth founded by Alexander the Great it was now ruled by the descendants of one of his generals Greek soldiers who had risen to become Pharaohs it was a unique place the meeting point of the age-old civilisations of the Mediterranean a city of Egyptians Greeks Romans and Persians here they combined the wisdom of the Pharaohs with the brilliance of Greek philosophy to create the intellectual powerhouse of the ancient world and it was here that the young Archimedes would be inspired by the work of a mechanical genius called tcbs he would have a simple but brilliant idea that would literally change time forever – suvir's was fortunate to be born in Alexandria the place where all the knowledge of the ancient classical world was held in one vast library a place where the great thinkers of Antiquities studied and where shelf upon shelf held the thousands of scrolls recording their work the library was such a famous institution that people came here from all over the world to learn and invent it was here that decipi Isis revolutionary invention was recording and where the young Archimedes may first have read of his work de Sidious is a figure who is often forgotten in history yet his work paved the way for a technical revolution the measurement of time yes – suvir's came from humble beginnings he was the son of a simple barber as a young man he had worked in his father's barbershop in Alexandria inventing gadgets such as adjustable mirrors and here he was surrounded by the constant dripping of water which would inspire his great invention – suvir's knew that for thousands of years the Egyptians have used ordinary water timers to mark the hours of the day the famous Karnak water clock is one example despite the intricate hieroglyphics strange symbols and images of gods and animals it's a simple device as this reproduction shows it was filled to the top with water and as it drained out through a spout of the bottom the time could be read as the level drop markings inside showed the passing hours but these varied as the number of hours from sunrise to sunset varied from month to month the clock allowed the ancient Egyptians to measure the passing of time during the day or night but this was still only a timer not a constant clock a sophisticated ancient Greek society the ability to tell the time accurately had become extremely important their society needed order and schedules which meant they had to be able to tell the time accurately sundials could be used at certain times and can be seen on important surviving municipal buildings such as the Tower of the winds in Athens but when the Sun went behind a cloud or night fell how would they know what time it was then the first Greek solution to this age-old dilemma was their own water timer called a kept Sidra or water thief because it was a very elegant device for measuring periods of time you might for example want to give equal amounts of time to lawyers in a courtroom or speakers in a political assembly it worked very simply you filled a large vessel with water and when you were ready to start timeing you simply took the bung out of the bottom the water ran slowly out of the vessel lawyers in minor legal cases may have been allowed the time it takes one CLEP Sidra to empty to give their arguments however for a serious case like a murder a whole row may have been needed to allow more time for evidence but when all the water was gone your time was up it's the origin of the phrase running out of time as that is quite literally what happened for Brinks or overnight however a bran could be put in effectively pausing the session the clip Sidra had one significant limitation it's a timer not a clock the problem is that when the vessel is full the water gushes out the bottom but as the water level drops so the pressure reduces finally to a dribble the ancient Greeks made their Clips edream more and more ornate but they still had the same problem the fact the water ran more quickly at the beginning the they created graduated scales to compensate for this but they could not make them run at a constant speed disobey us however saw officer Murphy he realized that if the vessel was always full then the water pressure out would always be the same if he could master that he knew he could create an accurate device which would change the world this then was the challenge he decided to set himself serious saw that the way to simplify the Egyptian DEP Sutra was not to utilize outflow water but to try and obtain a uniform inflow of water dr. Allan Mills a research fellow from the University of Leicester has used classical references to disabuse his work to build a replica of one of his earliest water plants it's very sophisticated it's one of these inventions that's easy like some genius has thought of it the challenge was to keep the reservoir of the CLEP Sidra full at all times and this is how to savea's did it firstly he added another water tank above the main reservoir this poured water into the top faster than it could flow out meaning the reservoir was always full and any excess water could just run off into an overflow container the water would always come out of the reservoir at the same speed now disappears just had to measure it to do this he decided to put another water tank under the constant outflow in this container he placed a float with a pointer on top and a scale next to it when the level of the water rose the Pointer rose at a constant speed it was a stroke of genius de Sidious had created the world's first mechanical clock thanks to the dripping water in a barber shop he had harnessed the power of water and in the process he had become the master of time but measuring hours and minutes was only the start what else could this unique water clock do the answer to that was kept here in the Great Library of Alexandria anyone in the ancient world wanting to understand time could come here and read disabuse his books which described the wonderful machines he was now building and the whole new subject he had invented hydraulics before long his clocks were not just dripping taps but only machines decorated with gilded figures of gods and animals and their workings were yet more elaborate – he devised a complex scale for the hours shown here in white for the day and for the night one cherub holds of ours from which drips the constant supply of water whilst another travels up the scale holding the pointer that indicates the hour of the day or night but that was only the start he even used water to sound a whistle and make a model ow he had invented the world's first cuckoo clock the increasingly complicated series of gearwheels also allowed the scale to rotate very slowly to indicate the days within each month of the year this lock was awesome now a character an automatic day and night month and year Archimedes was clearly fascinated by to Sevilla secessions he studied his clocks and used his own genius for invention to continue the work in an Arabic translation of Archimedes work dating back over a thousand years we can see a tantalizing glimpse of his additions to a to Sevilla Sauter clock this modern reconstruction shows Archimedes elaborations – the – suvir's Clarke he added a bird who dropped small stones onto a bell making the clock chime on the other the woman is a gorban with snakes for hair when the bell chimes you look up to see her eyes change color indicating the time this is the first automated chiming clock in history one can only imagine the spectacle when Archimedes unveiled his daring design in Greek mythology anyone who looked into the eyes of the Gorgon would be turned to stone but with disabilites help Archimedes could be the man who dared to look into the face of the Gorgon Alexandria today is a busy modern port a new building now stands in place of the famous library tragically the original library was burnt to the ground and with it was lost nearly all the knowledge of the ancient world only a very few ancient texts remain which mentioned to CBS's work we may never know what else he invented has not one single page of his own work survives so much information has been lost that the CBS has been largely forgotten however there is one legacy of his work one clue which is still standing this unassuming tower tucked away in a corner of Athens is one of the best preserved buildings from antiquity its survival almost untouched is a miracle and one due to the fact that for centuries it was believed to be the tomb of the philosophers Socrates and Plato but this isn't a tomb carved on its eight phases are clues to its real use on each side a worn sculpture of each of the eight winds can still be seen along with the sundial it was actually built by an astronomer around 200 years after the death of disabuse but is a monument to his genius this building now known as the Tower of the winds was the public clock of ancient Athens inside this time there once stood a huge and complex water clock based on a – suvir's design this clock was fed by a constant stream of water which ran from a spring on the Acropolis from which the whole population of Athens could tell the time but this was more than just a clock or calendar some believe this strange building housed a device that even charted the movements of the Sun and Moon in relation to the constellations of the zodiac we know the Greeks were measuring hours days and months during the time of disabuse could it be that they had also started to look above and measure the heavens one man believed the answer may lie in the cogs and wheels of the Antikythera mechanism in 1951 an English physicist director Salah price decided to find out for himself and examine the mechanism in detail for the first time the solid price traveled to Athens to look at the mechanism the pieces have lain largely untouched since its discovery fifty years earlier the device had disintegrated further exposing pieces of the gears which he was able to study he became determined to crack the secrets of the Antikythera mechanism the solemn price spent much of his time at the National Museum of Greece in Athens probing the secrets of his ancient enigma something told him that these fragments were the real treasure from the Antikythera red using new developments in x-ray technology he could now see what its discoverers 50 years before could not looking through the corrosion he was amazed a machine so complex it could almost be modern he had to know what it was for his meticulous studies of the cogs gear ratios and inscriptions gave him clues to the possible purpose of the mechanism remnants of a wooden box which held the device also had Greek writing on which gave further tantalizing hints using this information the Sala price developed a theory and put together a model of how he believed the Antikythera mechanism could have worked he realized the mechanism was an extremely sophisticated device for calculating the relative movements of the Sun and Moon it also seemed to show the days of the month as numa phases the Sala price had established its mechanical complexity and knew that the knowledge required to create such a machine was immense he believed that at the front of the mechanism a Browns dial showed the date and positions of the Salamone and I'll at the back would indicate the month possible within a 12-month year a further dial of the back seem to show either a cycle of forty seven months or four years desala price called the mechanism a calendar computer to anyone in the ancient world such a device would have been invaluable to understand the movement of the Sun and Moon within the heavens was to look into the minds of the gods many believed then as some do today that the positions of the Sun Moon and stars of the time of someone's birth may influence their later life what complex horoscope software does today the Antikythera mechanism may have done over two millennia earlier to the priests and astrologers of the day this extraordinary machine could have been a window on the gods but where could such a device have come from the salat price had an extraordinary theory what if machines like the Antikythera mechanism were part of municipal clocks powered by the very water clocks that dissapears had invented what if they were commonplace in the Hellenistic world was this the secret of the Tower of the winds not just a sundial or even a clock but water Matic model of the movements of the Sun Moon within the universe de Sala price also suggested that building these machines was what have interested the great Archimedes perhaps the Antikythera mechanism was a later copy of one of Archimedes machines de Sala price published his findings in 1974 in an article entitled gears from the Greeks the article generated a storm of international interest in particular one man was to read that article and to spend the next 30 years pondering on desala prices theory when Michael Wright from the science museum first read the paper he was immediately fascinated by the notion that the ancient Greeks had complex engineering right decided to go to Athens to examine and re x-ray the mechanism for himself we've got this view with several of the pieces put together and it helps me to build up a more complete picture of just how the gear wheels were arranged inside the box before it all fell apart although intrigued by desala prices theory of the Antikythera mechanism right believed there was more to the device than the solar price had realized i went back and read gifts from the greeks again and started to find problems with prices account that's when I resolved I really had to look at the things myself but for Michael Wright to understand this strange device he knew he needed to do more than just look at it he needed to try to build one for himself after the Salah prices publication many academics simply refused to admit that the mechanism could be so old the complex gearing seemed too modern how could ancient peoples have calculated and precisely cut the fine teeth on each wheel they asked surely this was either a fake or a later machine that just happened to be lost on the site of the ancient wreck so right sector work determined to prove them wrong using only tools similar to those available in the ancient world and with the Greeks knowledge of geometry he set out to copy the elaborate gears in his workshop measuring and cutting gears with only a pair of compasses a metal file and a good eye for detail was not going to be easy but it was possible after many hours of practice Wright proved beyond doubt that with patience and skill it could be done you can't deny the evidence that the Antikythera mechanism exists when you look at it closely it's very accomplished work both in design and in execution why shouldn't the ancient Greeks have done it we know from translations of his work the darken TVs was familiar with these types of comms and now it was the study of these gears that was to help solve yet another mystery involving one of his other mechanical marvels the mystery of the odometer we all use a Dominus every time we get in a car it's the device which measures the distance we've traveled but remarkably this device was in use long long before cars and was crucial to the development of the Roman Empire the odometer was said to have been invented by Archimedes whilst he was working for the Roman army it had been decreed that every road should be marked each mile with a milestone but Roman road stretched hundreds of miles so how could they be accurately measured by creating a cart that could accurately calculate distance Archimedes solved the problem and the milestones could be laid out this accurate measurement of distance will prove crucial in planning troop movements and that gave Rome the edge on her enemies Archimedes had set the Romans on the path to Empire and started a train of events that would ironically lead to his own death today the most famous of Roman roads the Appian Way is still marked in places by the milestones that Archimedes machine laid out but there is a problem with this apparently simple story one that professor andreas leaves week from Groningen in Holland would eventually solve with the aid of the ghostly x-ray images of the Antikythera mechanism as no original survived the only clues to how the odometer worked are a few faded drawings in a renaissance book based on a description of an odometer by a Roman author called Vitruvius the drawings look fine on paper the problem is when you try to build them they don't work even Leonardo da Vinci attempted it these are his sketches of an odometer which he attempted but could not successfully build professor sleaze week started to make simple models to see if he could crack the odometer puzzle then he developed a quarter-sized model and this was a model with a difference where even Leonardo had failed sleaze Rick's model worked the mechanics are simple as the wheels turn when the vehicle travels a gear with a single tooth pushes around a huge gear with 400 teeth every time the large wheel turns once a small stone would be automatically dropped into a box below the device this allowed miles to be measured after the first chemical war by decision of the Senate of Rome mastan's had to be placed on our marriage and that also gives us an idea of who D inventor might have been and in this case not me so what was sleaze wick secret the answer was in the shape of the teeth on the gears while stove in she and others had assumed they were square sleaze we can seem the pointed teeth on x-rays of the Antikythera mechanism changing the shape of those teeth made all the difference archimedes ergometer for so long thought I was just an impossible dream was back and working just as the great man had intended all thanks to that most mysterious of ancient objects the Antikythera mechanism back in London it was the mechanisms pointed teeth that Michael Wright had now successfully cut for his working model far more complex than the odometer this would be the most complete model of the Antikythera mechanism ever built as each gear slotted into place it soon became clear desala prized may have got the details wrong but his theory was right the Antikythera mechanism was an automated calculating device ABS even a type of computer you could call this thing a computer in the sense that you put in some data and it gives you out related data an ancient computer is a difficult concept to imagine yet in many ways that is exactly what the Antikythera mechanism is it is astounding to compare it with the machine designed by Charles Babbage in the 1830s which is often cited as the world's first computer and the machine which led to our modern the high tech age this was the first modern device which could make automatic calculations the technology is starting this similar to the Antikythera mechanism yet there is 2,000 years difference between the two right believes that the Antikythera mechanism was more complex than two solid price imagined and most importantly also showed the changing positions of the planets as well as the Sun of the Moon of the time in Wright's model of the mechanism a knob is turned to set the days and months intricate gearing then moves a series of indicators which represent the Sun Moon and planets the knob could be turned every day so the position of the planets could be monitored throughout the year or it could be set to a specific date to show their positions of that time it is in effect a mechanical model of the Greek universe today astrologers need a complex computer program to carry out exactly the function of the Antikythera mechanism so could this machine have being created by Archimedes himself we know from ancient texts that he built planet area but could it be possible he designed this one it's difficult to make a direct connection between the Antikythera mechanism and Archimedes but we can say with certainty was the revolution that Archimedes pioneered in mathematics and geometry was necessary for those who then invented the Antikythera mechanism without Archimedes and his advances is difficult to think that the Antikythera mechanism could have been invented at all Archimedes own life was cut short before he could finish his revolutionary work on mathematics and mechanics during the Romans sacking of his home city of Syracuse it is said a Roman soldier was sent to find him and bring him back alive when Archimedes refused to leave his work the soldier became angry and killed him it was neurotic and for a man who had done so much to make Rome such a formidable fighting force his death marked the beginning of the end of the Hellenistic tradition of great invention and science his work however was preserved stored on the endless shelves of the Great Library of Alexandria a treasure greater than any the Romans used it from Syracuse but even that legacy was not to last the library itself fell victim to war and destruction being burnt to the ground several times over the following eight hundred years eventually most of the collection including much of Archimedes work was lost or destroyed in the fire if only the library had survived we may have inherited the insights of such great thinkers without them we have been forced to reinvent much that we are only now realizing it was already known over 2,000 years ago if we had not lost this ancient wisdom a much more advanced might science and technology be today and what else may still lie hidden or last from that time without that sudden storm all those centuries ago that ancient ship might not have founded taking her cargo of statues pottery and that incredible machine to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea if a group of sponge divers have not stumbled upon the wreck 2,000 years later the Antikythera mechanism might be lying there today slowly corroding what other technological marvels from that time might still be awaiting discovery I think that these mentions we have in the literature and this one instrument are just the tips of icebergs showing that there was a great deal more to this tradition that that we haven't heard about 2,000 years ago there was a world more advanced than mere dared to believe and more secrets may still lie waiting to be discovered ancient discoveries we are only just beginning to understand the series continues next Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 with the discoveries made by the father of Medicine Hippocrates during his early form of highly effective brain surgery in just a few minutes armchair traveling at its very best and you don't have to tip the guide with the conclusion of our tour of the seven natural wonders of the world all sites for sore eyes human civilization has come a long way over the last two and a half thousand years this ancient classical world must have been a very different place to our modern age a time when life was much simpler a time without the stresses of modern life in a world without computers and information technology but we may soon have to change our adil igloo of the ancient world clues from the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea are set to reveal this was a world more advanced than we could ever have imagined in ancient discoveries we will travel back in time to discover the amazing ancient roots of technologies we like to think of as modern new research is beginning to suggest that many of the inventions of the last 200 years may in fact have already been known to the ancient Greeks and Romans much of what we have recently discovered we may in fact have just rediscovered the Greeks and Romans were also intensely practical people many of the things which they devised planned that invented preceded by 2,000 years things that we like to think of as modern at the heart of this story of ancient achievement lies a mysterious and arcane machine one so complex that many have refused to believe it could have been built by the ancient Greeks hidden for centuries beneath the Mediterranean Sea encased in thick corrosion it remained an enigma until 20th century science glimpse inside what they saw inside astonished them a mass of gears and cogs a machine but what was it for and who had created it for a hundred years it has been a riddle which intrigued but baffled those who tried to understand the mysterious object known as the Antikythera mechanism but now finally its story can be told that story began just over 100 years ago in the year 1900 it was early spring when captain condos and his crew sponge divers found themselves sheltering from the storm miles off course by the little Greek island of Antikythera as the weather cleared the captain decided to make the most of his unplanned stop by diving in the deep clear waters of the island the water was deep some 200 feet but then the deep water was where the best sponges were found but so far down there was always the danger a diver might return to the surface with the notorious bends once in the water the diver started his first descent but water weighted him on the bottom were not sponges as he looked around he saw what appeared to be dead bodies scattered in all directions terrified he quickly signaled to be pulled back to the boat some thought the diver mad perhaps he had the bend but the truth was far far stranger than men two thousand years ago another ship had sailed these waters on its way from Rhodes to deliver a precious cargo to a wealthy Roman citizen just like the sponge divers this ship had also been caught in a storm she too was driven far off course to the island of Antikythera but this ship was not destined to survive here she sank and here she still there captain Kondo sent another diver to investigate the wild story of bodies what had it first appeared to be dead bodies were in fact the most beautiful marble and bronze statues imaginable the remnants of that ancient wreck along with the statues other treasures such as decorated Greek vases and jewelry were winch to the surface it was the find of the decade perhaps the century and the breathtaking statues made front-page news one of the most perfect bronzes recovered was named the Antikythera youth the Beast was universally acknowledged as a work of genius it had clearly belonged to a Roman of exquisite taste and fantastic wealth a Roman destined for disappointment as this cargo never arrived along with the youth a fine known as the philosophers head were the highlights of the wreck two faces that had not been seen by the world for over 2,000 years but the greatest work of genius from the wreck still lay unrecognized this rusting lump of corrosion held the key to one of the greatest periods in human history the Hellenistic period and perhaps the greatest achievement of that time two and a half thousand years ago the Mediterranean was a place where science philosophy and art flourished the Greeks known as aleene's were living in what many regard as a golden age they had invented democracy opened up the fields of mathematics and science and introduced the world to philosophy they were inquisitive and inventive no different in many ways from us today in trying to understand their world they had created this strange machine all that 21st century descendants had to do was work out what they had created it for part of that answer lay far from Antikythera in a London Museum display case 20 years ago Michael Wright curator of engineering at the Science Museum in London came upon another mysterious ancient mechanical device although much less complex there were similarities with the Antikythera mechanism we call this the Byzantine sundial calendar we think it dates from about 500 AD it appears to be a sundial which is also a mechanical calendar it shows the passing of days indicated by the age of the Moon within the month the gear wheels look surprisingly modern complicated mathematics and a detailed knowledge of astronomy would have been necessary to create such an object Michael Wright decided to build a model of the device to explore hide would have worked the model shows the positions of the sun and moon within the zodiac at any given date as well as the age of the Moon here you have the letter giving the day that's saying alpha a that says day one of the month and correspondingly in the in the circular opening you have the the black disk showing this is New Moon now I click it forward day by day that's Peter B day 2 day 3 day 4 day 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 well at 15 and there is the full moon the shiny disk the other dials show the moon and the Sun going around the zodiac this instrument is is much more simple from the Antikythera mechanism but what's exciting about it is to have found another instrument very obviously in the Hellenistic tradition because of the Greek lettering and also having gear wheels so now we have not just one mechanism that tells us the Greeks had gears we have we've doubled the evidence although similar it is estimated that the sundial calendar only had eight gear wheels where the Antikythera device had at least 29 allowing for much more complicated calculations could the Antikythera mechanism be a mechanical calendar as well one many times more complicated than the Byzantine machine yet over six hundred years older but in an age supposedly without machines and modern technology who could have created such a device they would have to have been an expert in both mathematics and engineering a genies centuries perhaps even millennia ahead of their talent one man who fitted that description was Archimedes the most respected mathematician and inventor of his age Archimedes lived during the Hellenistic period in the Greek city-state of Syracuse on what is today Sicily off the coast of Italy during his lifetime the Mediterranean was a turbulent war-torn place a world in which his talent for military invention was put to good use by both his fellow Greeks and the aggressive new power of Rome that was slowly spreading its tentacles across the Mediterranean today he is perhaps best remembered for the revolutionary invention known as the Archimedean screw used to move water or seeds uphill

2 thoughts on “Forbidden Knowledge ; Ancient Medical Secrets Documentary”

  1. All of this Greek and Roman 'genius' can be traced back to Egypt where the great philosophers, astronomers and physicians of Greece went to learn from the greatest men and women of the most advanced civilization in history. Greece is the step-child of Egypt.

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