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International Society for Industrial Process Tomography

5th World Congress on Industrial Process Tomography

Computed Tomography of the Antikythera Mechanism

M. Allen

Shaw Inspection Systems Limited, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR31 OAG, UK, Email:

Shaw Inspection Systems Limited are a technical member of the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project


The Antikythera Mechanism is widely considered to be one of the most important archaeological artefacts ever found. The Mechanism is a complex device consisting of over 30 gears and dates from 150-100 BC. It precedes any other known mechanisms of comparable complexity by over a millennium. Since its discovery at the beginning of the 20th century, it has been the focus of sustained investigation, which has been hampered by both the complexity of the mechanism and the fragmentary nature of the remains. Recently, the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project has used some of the most up to date imaging techniques, including the latest industrial computed tomography equipment to image the mechanism in unprecedented detail. The results of this work have more than doubled the extent of readable inscriptions and clarified the Mechanism’s gearing and consequently its purpose as an ‘astronomical calculator’.

Keywords Antikythera Mechanism, Computed Tomography, X-Ray, Astronomical Calculator

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