Babylonian Solar Theory on the Antikythera Mechanism
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
Science, Technology and Society
This article analyzes the angular spacing of the degree marks on the zodiac scale of the Antikythera mechanism and demonstrates that over the entire preserved 88° of the zodiac, the marks are systematically placed too close together to be consistent with a uniform distribution over 360°. Thus, in some other part of the zodiac scale (not preserved), the degree marks have been spaced farther apart. By contrast, the day marks on the Egyptian calendar scale are spaced uniformly, apart from minor errors. A solar equation of center is apparent which rises by nearly 2.7° over the preserved portion of the zodiac. The placement of the degree marks indicates that, in the preserved portion of the zodiac, the Sun was considered to run at a uniform pace of about 30° per synodic month, which is consistent with the Sun’s speed in the fast zone of the Babylonian solar theory of System A.
Evans, J., Carman, C.C. Babylonian solar theory on the Antikythera mechanism. Arch. Hist. Exact Sci. 73, 619–659 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00407-019-00237-9