This book is ace. I’ve had a fascination for the antikythera mechanism for a good number of years and this probably dates back to a TV programme which is mentioned in the book and featured Arthur C Clarke.
I am fortunate enough to have see this mechanism in its current location in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. It holds no less wonder when it is seen for real. It looks like nothing very much at all but the fact remains that it is an artefact out-of-time.
This book goes to great lengths to place this mechanism in the context of the time in which it would have been made and also to examine the circumstances in which it was found as well as the more recent tale of how it has come to be understood.
As a result it covers a lot of ground quite quickly but the tale is worth the telling. There are rivalries,egos and obsession.
Jo Marchant gives real enthusiasm to this story and elaborates some, quite complex, scientific principles whilst moving it forward.
Whatever the real original use for the mechanism I still think it holds secrets which are yet to be discovered and the most significant of these is the whole consideration as to why it exists at all from a time where other such artefacts have not been found.