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The Epoch Dates of the Antikythera Mechanism (With an Appendix on its Authenticity)

TitreThe Epoch Dates of the Antikythera Mechanism (With an Appendix on its Authenticity)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsJones, Alexander R.
Journal TitleISAW Papers
Volume17
Abstract

Attempts previous to 2014 to date the ancient Greek astronomical Antikythera Mechanism, on the basis of the letter forms of its inscriptions or on its Egyptian Calendar scale's alignment, were inconclusive. (Occasional claims that the Mechanism was not a product of antiquity at all are refuted in an appendix to this paper.) In 2014, two separate and complex arguments were published dating the series of computed lunar and solar eclipses inscribed on the Mechanism's Saros Dial to the interval 205-187 BCE, and in 2017 an argument was presented that the Corinthian Calendar lunisolar cycle and the Panhellenic Games cycle inscribed on the Metonic and Games Dials also had an epoch in 205 BCE, four months after the eclipse epoch. The present paper offers a more direct confirmation of the dating of the eclipse sequence, a reaffirmation of the calendrical epoch and explanation of it in the context of Hellenistic calendar regulation and synchronization, and a hypothetical reconstruction of the design decisions that determined the choice of the two 205 BCE epochs. These decisions could plausibly have been made by a designer as late as the c. 60 BCE archeologically determined date of the shipwreck from which the Mechanism was recovered.

URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/2333.1/ffbg7m07