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"History's Greatest Mysteries" S04E09 Review

Given that we've been working on a replica of the Antikythera Mechanism, we've decided to review the episode of History's Greatest Mysteries on it! The episode originally aired on March 27, 2023, but you can stream it anytime on The History Channel website or Amazon Prime. It is the 9th episode of season 4, titled "Unlocking the Secrets of the Antikythera Mechanism"

The episode goes through the modern history of scientific explorations/studies of the device, and we learned a lot about what scholars have said and theorized about it. There were some far-out theories on their list of 10, but that's something we've come to expect from the History Channel. We rolled our eyes pretty hard at theory #7: "It's from aliens" Just so we're clear, our device is based on the explanation that it was a navigational device, not a time machine or alien technology!

The show really does a good job of showing different perspectives about the Antikythera Mechanism. We hear from regulars Andrew Nichols from the University of Florida, Jonathan Sayre from "The Midnight Train" podcast, WBUR producer and host of the "Endless Thread" podcast Amory Sivertson, and Michael Denin from the University of California Irvine. The episode also features some subject-matter experts like Evaggelos Vallianatos, whose writing on the Antikythera Mechanism is well-researched and recommended.

This diverse team goes through with the discovery of the Antikythera Mechanism in 1901 by a group of sponge divers off the coast of Greece. The Mechanism, a complex machine made up of interlocking gears and dials, was initially thought to be a simple navigational device. However, as the episode reveals, it was much more than that.

The documentary follows a team of experts, including historians, archaeologists, and engineers, as they attempt to unravel the secrets of the Antikythera Mechanism. Using the latest scientific techniques, the team uncovers the inner workings of the Mechanism and reveals its true purpose.

The episode features stunning reconstructions of the Mechanism, as well as expert analysis of its function and design. The team also explores the cultural and historical context in which the Mechanism was created, shedding light on the technological and scientific advancements of ancient Greece.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the documentary is the use of modern technology to unlock the secrets of an ancient artifact. The team uses X-ray imaging, computer modeling, and other advanced techniques to create a detailed picture of the Mechanism's inner workings.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed History's Greatest Mysteries: Decoding the Mysterious Antikythera Mechanism. It's a fascinating and informative exploration of the ancient technological marvel. The documentary is well-produced, visually stunning, and offers a glimpse into the scientific and cultural achievements of ancient Greece, as well as the modern breakthroughs that have helped shed light on the device and its mysteries. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in history, archaeology, or technology.

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