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Indiana Jones in Search of the Antikythera Mechanism

Indiana Jones Antikythera Mechanism
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in search of a missing part of the Antikythera Mechanism. Credit: Lucasfilm

The Antikythera Mechanism takes center stage in the fifth installment of Indiana Jones, as Harrison Ford races against time to retrieve part of what many scientists consider to be humanity’s first computer.

Created by ancient Greek scientist Archimedes in the 3rd century BC, it is an incredibly intricate mechanism, which consists of a network of gears that computed and showed the movement of the stars through the heavens.

“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” begins by taking the audience back in time to 1944, when the hero is trying to rescue part of the Antikythera Mechanism from the hands of a mad Nazi scientist played by Mads Mikkelsen.

25 years later in 1969, Jones is uneasy over the fact that the U.S. government has recruited former Nazis to help beat the Soviet Union in the competition to make it to space. His goddaughter Helena Shaw, the daughter of his World War II ally Basil Shaw, accompanies him on his journey for the Mechanism.

Meanwhile, Voller, now a NASA member and ex-Nazi involved with the moon-landing program, wishes to make the world into a better place as he sees fit.

Dial of Destiny is the first and only film in the series not directed by Steven Spielberg nor with a story written by George Lucas, with Spielberg and Lucas serving as executive producers instead.

It is also the first and only film in the series not to be distributed by Paramount, as Disney acquired the film rights for future sequels.

What was the Antikythera Mechanism Indiana Jones tries to recover?

The day the Antikythera Mechanism was discovered in 1901 is celebrated across the scientific world.

It was discovered inside an ancient shipwreck by Greek sponge divers on May 17, 1901. After numerous studies, it was estimated to have been constructed between 150 BC and 100 BC. A later study placed it at 205 BC, just seven years after the death of Archimedes.

The extraordinary object that has bedeviled historians and scientists ever since had been split into 82 fragments, making it a near impossibility for researchers to piece it back together.

The Antikythera Mechanism was a very accurate calendar. Furthermore, it was a predictive machine. It predicted the eclipses of the Sun god Helios and the Moon and mapped the movements and positions of the planets, major stars, and constellations.

Predicting the eclipses of the Sun and the Moon was terribly important. These two stars, like all other stars, were gods to the Greeks. Seeing the Sun or the Moon disappear from the sky was more than frightening.

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