EUREKA. Science, Art and Technology of the Ancient GreeksOctober 2017-January 2018The exhibition "EUREKA", oerganized by the Museum Herakleidon in collaboration with the Association of Ancient Greek Technology Studies (AAGTS) and with Mr. Theodosis P. Tasios, professor emeritus of the National Technical University of Athens, President of AAGTS, as scientific consultant, will present for the first time at the CMST in Beijing the most representative of the ancient Greek technological accomplishments in areas such as shipbuilding, mechanical engineering, communications, building, the arts, and others, through original models and visual materials. Significant among the exhibits will be the operational reproduction of the Antikythera Mechanism, at triple the size of the original, made of plexiglass, bronze and aluminum, which will be constructed specifically for the Museum Herakleidon, in collaboration with the research team of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the scientific counsel of professors Dr. Kyriakos Efstathios and Dr. John Seiradakis. Furthermore, the exhibition will include two reproductions of historical ancient Greek shipwrecks, courtesy of the Museum of Navigation and Marine Arts of the Aegean and the Municipality of Samos.
The exchange of the two exhibitions aims to strengthen the ties between the two nations through the mutual discovery and showcasing of the important cultural heritage of each. It is under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religion/Department of Research and Innovation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and Sports. and the Greek-Chinese Chamber.
The main thematic units will be:
Metals were the most precious of the natural materials. In particular copper (which, combined with tin resulted in the “krateroma”, the bronze of the ancients), but also the precious metals, such as silver that was being produced in Lavrio from approximately 3000 B.C.
From the multi-storey buildings in Akrotiri of Thira, to the bold vaults of the Mycenaeans and the glorious temples of the Classical period, building technology was especially developed by the ancient Greeks.
The works described are land improvement projects (e.g. the drainage of Lake Kopaida in the 14th cent. B.C.), huge tunnels (e.g. Eupalinos tunnel) and the Diolkos (the transport of ships over land along the length of the Isthmus of Corinth).
The Mycenaean penteconter, the “Samaina”, the Athenian trireme and the Byzantine dromon are characteristic types of large ships that ruled the Mediterranean.
Catapults and “Helepolis” (siege towers) are presented.
Important machines of the ancient Greeks are presented, such as large cranes, piston pumps, as well as the steam-powered sphere of Hero.
The arts and sports
Ancient Greek technology supported all human needs including the arts (e.g. hydraulis: hydraulic organ) and sports (e.g. hysplex: race starting mechanism).
Measuring and communications
Ancient Greek technology also supported a) science – offering measuring instruments (e.g. hydraulic clocks) but also b) communications (e.g. the visual telegraph).
During the Hellenistic period, the dream of the Greeks for automata descended from the sky to Earth. The exhibition includes several models of such automata.
The knowledge of the Greeks about astronomy during the Hellenistic period is embodied in the Antikythera Mechanism and is based on earlier studies, such as that of Autolycus (circa 300 B.C.) and his spherical astronomy, that of Hipparchus (190-120 B.C.) regarding the orbits of the planets and the moon eclipses and that of Meton (5th century B.C.).