The Annual BCS Christmas Lecture: Advent Calendars and the Antikythera Mechanism

The Antikythera mechanism is the earliest known analogue computer, containing over 30 gear wheels. It was designed to predict the positions of Sun, Moon and Planets in the sky, and eclipses. The cycles of lunar and solar motion that it is based on are those that still determine the details of our own calendar.


Speaker: Mike Edmunds is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University in Wales. He is lead academic on the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project.


Date: Tuesday 16th December 2014

Time: 17:30 Registration, 18:00-19:00 Lecture followed by light refreshments

Location: National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, SA1 3RD


The remains of the Mechanism were recovered in 1900–01 from a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera. The instrument was constructed by the ancient Greeks around 150 to 100 BC. Devices that exceeded the complexity and workmanship of the Antikythera Mechanism did not appear again in Europe until the 14th century AD, when mechanical astronomical clocks began to be built in Western Europe.

Mike will talk about the project to understand this incredible Mechanism, including news of a recent new dive on the shipwreck site. He will link it to calendars ancient and modern, and of course the most important aspect for children, the advent calendar.

Register your place by visiting the Software Alliance Wales website here:
http://www.softwarealliancewales.com/christmas-lecture-advent-calendars-and-antikythera-mechanism.