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The Back Plate Inscription and Eclipse Scheme of the Antikythera Mechanism Revisited.

Authors: Iversen, Paul
Jones, Alexander
Keywords: Greek astronomy
Issue Date: 24-Jun-2019
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Paul Iversen & Alexander Jones. The Back Plate Inscription and Eclipse Scheme of the Antikythera Mechanism Revisited. Archive for History of Exact Sciences 73.5, 2019, 469-511 with erratum, 513-516.
Abstract: This paper presents a new edition of the Back Plate Inscription (BPI) of the Antikythera Mechanism, a series of descriptions of circumstances associated with eclipses indicated cyclically by the inscriptions of the Mechanism’s Saros Dial Scale. Our edition features several significant new readings as well as the confirmation of a disputed reading pertaining to one of the index letters by which the BPI’s paragraphs are linked to the specific eclipse glyphs of the Saros Dial. On the basis of the new text, we deduce a revision of the established models for determining which lunar months of the Saros cycle had solar and lunar eclipse possibilities (EPs) and for assigning the solar EPs to paragraphs of the BPI. We further confirm that the entire extant part of the BPI comprises consecutive paragraphs concerning the solar EPs, all inscribed along the right side of the Mechanism’s Back Plate, and we revisit the questions of what the BPI’s predictions mean and how they relate to the model for the solar EPs.
ISSN: 1432-0657
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Appears in Collections:Alexander Jones' Publications

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Iversen and Jones 2019 BPI erratum AHES.pdfIversen & Jones BPI erratum192.69 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

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