Parthenon Symposium - Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology Replicas

Parthenon Symposium - Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology Replicas

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*Music* Panagiotis Kotsanas: Hi, everyone. Katie Petrole: Hello. Can you hear me, is that clear? Yes, yes, Panagiotis, we can hear you well. Welcome. Thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you so much for having me. Welcome virtually to the Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology. If you'd like I can start us all off with an introduction and I would also like to invite all of those who are joining us online to be thinking of questions during the Symposium.

As you can probably guess Panagiotis Kotsanas will be showing us around his Museum in Greece and we will ask Panagiotis Kotsanas questions about his museum, about replicas, about ancient Greek technology at the very end. Before I turn it over to our speaker today, we'd like to thank Humanities Tennessee for providing support for our newest exhibition the Role of a Replica and its education programming which includes the Symposium. So today our talk is inspired by the replicas we have on display right now at the Parthenon through the end of the year, through December 31st 2023. It's a fantastic new installation where you can get Hands-On with Parthenon replicas see all the latest Parthenon discoveries and explore how replicas help us learn. We'd also like to thank Centennial Park Conservancy

and Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation for their support with exhibitions and programming at the Parthenon. Um I will now introduce our speaker and then I will turn it over to him. So Panagoiotis Kotsana studied in the department of chemical engineering at the National Technical University of Athens in Greece. He's given several speeches regarding ancient Greek technology and international conferences in Greece and abroad including at the University of Salzburg, and the National Science Museum of Korea. He conducts research in ancient Greek technology, which is a relatively unknown aspect of ancient Greek civilization, and he is the head of traveling exhibitions at the Kotsanas Museum of ancient Greek technology which has locations in Athens, Ancient Olympia, Katakolo, and Crete. So, um please Mr. Kotsanas take it away. Hi again thank you very much for the for your kind introduction. I couldn't have said it better. I'd like to ask for the participants if you

want to come interrupt me and ask questions I might cover, a questions they might have So, I am welcoming you again to our main department of the Kotsanas Museum of ancient Greek technology which stays in Athens, a museum dedicated to the inventions of the ancient Greeks. Our Museum's collection includes more than 500 operational models of the inventions of the ancient Greeks covering the period between 2000 BC until the end of the ancient world. Our Museum's goal is to prove that the technology of the ancient Greeks just before the ancient world, the end of the ancient world, was extremely similar to the beginning of our modern technology. For example, we're going to check this out today, if we just open up the hood of the modern car, we will see bolts and nuts, we will see pulleys and gears, we will see its sprockets.

All of these are just some of the micro- inventions of the ancient Greeks that were the building blocks of the complex technology. All of our exhibits were built based on the whole study of the ancient Greek, Latin, and Arabic literature. Very spare information, and minimal, uh, relevant archaeological finds. Now as we can see today, I'm inside our museum and have prepared some demonstrations for you and let's get on right here. Now, on this table we have some gadgets invented by the ancient Greeks. We start here with the Magic Fountain of Heron. This is an automatic

fountain where I simply pour some water on the top like this and you see magically, automatically, the water starts coming out. Here, I'd like to ask anyone who wants to answer: how does this work? Any ideas? Even today, people in our times have trouble figuring this out. I imagine you thought this has something to with pressure, right? So, you see we have these two containers in the fountain. In the beginning the upper one we fill with water, while the one down there at the bottom is empty, only air in it. So, as I'm pouring the water on top, the water through this pipe comes directly down here and water now transfers, it's connected to the air. And now

the air through this other pipe, has no way but to come up here and force this water out. And many think, people think this will work forever, like it's a cycle, but but actually not true. When the water in this container runs out, it seems like recycling while the water is going back to the bottom container but from here it has no way out. So, it's gonna stay there and then automatically the fountain is going to stop. That's why this is its original

size, it was not built bigger, larger for a square. Now continuing, as you know, um, ancient Greeks used to drink wine mixed with water. So here we have the ingenious wine of Philon, Philon of Byzantium, one of the most important engineers of ancient times.

Where here I could set with the same motion wine mixed with water, or either one separately. Let's say that somebody wanted to drink just wine, I can simply serve only wine. If they wanted just water, I can serve only water. Or, I can serve both at the same time, as you see right here. And, how could this one work? So, let's have a look. You see that, uh in the middle of the cup, of the jug? There is a wall inside it that separates two containers. One

is filled with water, and another one is filled with wine. But back here where I'm holding the jug, you can see two separate pipes here. And each pipe on the top has a small hole, as you can see, now with my thumb, as I'm serving, I can block each of the holes and adjust the flow of the jug. And let's have a look at another Micro-gadget, which is none other than the cup of Pythagoras.

All of you have heard of Pythagoras, I believe. And according to tradition, Pythagoras made this cup to convince his students the need of moderation in their lives. So, he built this cup and on this spot right here, he drew a line. He told his students not to drink too much wine but only until the line up here. Because, if they drank more, there would come a punishment from the gods.

Now let's have a look. And when I pour some wine, until this spot you can see we're safe under the line, but if I go and become greedy we start losing it? But what's the catch? Not only until the line up here, but we're gonna lose that whole quantity of the wine and that's a punishment. So we're talking here about the first ancient siphon since the sixth Century BC. Inside, there is a pipe, which is hollow through the bottom of the cup, and over it you place another one that is blocking the initial pipe. This creates pressure that sucks the whole quantity of the liquid out of the cup.

Now we saw before the ancient wine cup of Philon.. he didn't leave it there but he moved on and created the first humanoid robot in history. I'm talking about the automatic servant of Philon which is the evolution of the normal jug you saw before. Here you could see a robot standing like this at the festival, for example, and anyone could come with his cup and simply place it on its hand. Automatically the hand starts moving and the the robot is serving, is serving

us wine. Whenever the wine reaches the middle of the cup, it automatically store stops pouring out wine and starts pouring out water. Whenever we want we can take take our cup off and automatically the robot is gonna stop. This way we adjust the level of water in our wine. Now if someone

never took his cup off, it will not spill the the wine and water but it would automatically stop when it was still half with wine and half with water. And we can have a look and let's hear that's how it operates. You see inside the servant's chest there is, inside it says, there are two separate containers. Whenever we place our cup, the hand starts moving and this movement is uh controlled by a spring on its shoulder. So, as the wine is coming out it gets heavier and heavier. The spring keeps expanding and then automatically the hole that I was closing

before with my thumb on the wine is closing, and the waterfall is opening so it gets out the water. Whenever we want, we simply take the cup off, the weight is lost, and it stops uh flowing. Now moving on, on my left here we have the first crane of vertical elevation. All the ancient temples we see in Greece after the 5th Century BC were built by cranes just like this one. Here with the movement just 1 finger, I can lift a stone that weighs more than 30 kilograms or 60 pounds. So you can see it. We rotate it with levers and the stone is already lifted from the ground.

I don't know if the camera is getting it. And here, as you can imagine, we have the first use of pulleys, right here, which are helping us reduce all this weight and use as a force to pull. Now you see the crane is 3 meters tall, and we lifted a stone that weighs about 20 kilograms.

You will see at the times there are the stones and that weigh tons of kilos. Here, even if they build a crane that was a 30 meters tall, for our circumstances, the problem they had to solve was was how to connect the stone to the crane. Our first idea to wrap the stone with a rope and then lift up the stone. But when we have to place a stone on another Stone, you have to remove by hand. So in order to avoid this process, they thought of carving the upper part of this stones like this. you will see it they created a hole but on these three

sides was cut vertically while the fourth side here was cut with an angle just like this so they used to take this part first they place it inside the hole and move it at the angle side and then replace uh this other hook here and the the stone is low you simply use our hook right here and you can lift the stone. And let's move on, slowly, to some telecommunications over here. Let's see how they used to communicate from a distance. Now on my left, I have the first coded system of sending messages. Here you can imagine that

at the top of each hill there used to be two walls and they had a bit alphabet in between. Here they used to raise torches on its wall so that the torches on the left wall indicating the column of the letters the vertical columns while the torches on the right one indicated their rows For example, you can see here that we have raised 3 torches on the left wall, which means that we are sending a message. -a letter, rather- from the third column. Here is the third column. And since we have two on the right one, it means that we are sending the second letter. So, here, is the letter M. And letter by letter, they could send a whole message Now, as you could imagine, this method was uh very slow. Is there a question? Ah okay. it was, firstly, very slow and another problem was the distance. and we have proved that uh if we create this

modern day, the maximum distance that an operator could see are the other Hill was up to 10 kilometers away. If the distance were greater, the operator could not distinguish the number of flames on the top of each wall. So, during wars where they had to send the messages faster they used this one right here, which is the hydraulic telegraph of Aeneas. Here at the top of each mountain you can imagine, they had this device. But this device had to be precisely the same at each top of the mountains. All of these devices were filled with water in the cylinder, and on top of it, a wooden stick containing 24 word messages floated. They were float- they all floated at the same

level and then one operator wanted to send a message to the next one he simply raised just one torch, one fire. When the operator of the other side sees my torch, he simply raises one, as well. That means that we were ready to communicate. Then, I could send a message. We put my torch down and we both open our box. We both open our box at the bottom so

the water level slowly decreases. Then I waited for the message I wanna send. For example, this one up here- will come exactly at the top of the container. When it comes right here, I simply raise my torch again and we both close our box. So, we can both read the same message

at the same time. And to continue, let's have a look here the first Cinema in history. I'm talking about the static automatic theater of Philon, based on the third Century BC, where automatically, by simply pulling a rope on its bottom right here, a whole play is gonna be presented automatically. Let's have a look we just pull the rope, you can see the doors opening automatically, and you see here the Achaeans, the sailors, repairing the ships. You can see this one in the middle hammering onto the ship and if we are quiet we can listen to the sound effect of the hammer on the ship. Inside the theater now, we can see the mechanism producing that sound. Automatically now the doors of the theater are gonna close and it's going to prepare the next scene. It is presenting here the myth of Nauplius, ancient Greek King Nauplius, wanted to

seek revenge on the Achaeans after the Trojan War. According to the myth, they killed his son over there, and he asked help for help from the goddess Athena. Now, as we saw the second scene, the doors will open again. The ships are now prepared. We see the sea and Sun. As we're waiting for the ships to come over, we see also Dolphins emerging and diving into the sea.

Now according to the myth, the Goddess Athena proposed to Nauplius that they stand on the way of the ships and he's going to raise a torch in the air. That way, he would represent a lighthouse. You will see slowly the sea is going to get rougher and rougher, so the would seek for a place to layover for the night. Seeing the fire from Nauplius, they would think there is a lighthouse and wherever there is a lighthouse there is a port nearby. And let's explain a bit how does this one work? So, inside this column, in its base there is a metal weight. Under the weight, this is filled with sand. When I'm pulling the rope, on its bottom, automatically an open hole, an open... a hole opens under the sand and it works

like an hourglass, so the weight is descending and it's pulling all these ropes that we see inside the theater. Here we can see Nauplius raising his torch. Automatically, fire is gonna light inside the theater. Athena is by his side, but here there is no Port, there's only rocks.

Here, also we can see the metal weight descending, pulling all the micro mechanisms inside the theater. And here is the main soldier that killed the Nauplius' son, his name was Aeas, and just like the ancient theater, goddess Athena appears and she is going to take offense. We see the lightning. The figure of Aeas disappeared, and now King Nauplius was happy about the offense she took.

And the play was over. Now, let's have a look at some cryptography right here. We saw the communications before, now during wars they also needed to send secret messages during wars. Now let's have a look at one of these ways where this is the Laconian relay. They used to take a piece of her wood, just like this one, and it was twice in length and then they cut it in half. So the receiver and the sender, they

used to have the same piece of wood. Now if I wanted to send a message, I would simply take a piece of leather, like this one, and simply wrap it around my piece of wood. Then I would just write my let my message horizontally, as you can see here. Now in order to transmit

the message, I would just send the leather, not the piece of wood. So, when they received got the piece of the leather, they had simply... to simply to just wrap the leather around the same piece of wood they had from the beginning. If they this is in a thicker piece of wood, then letters would be mixed and the same would happen if they had a slimmer piece of wood. Let's continue here the hall of Heron, where we can have a look at the first vending machine in history. So this clay pot here was placed outside of some temples where people would come by, they would drop a coin in here.

And you get some holy water down there from the valve. Let me do it one more time. I drop the coin, and you get water. So, you can see now, inside the vending machine, you can see a scale. On one side, there is a weight and that way

it is similar to the weight of a coin we are using. And on the other side, we can see where the coin is going to drop. As the coin drops right here, the scale is gonna move, and it lifts up the chain in the middle this chain is floating at the bottom of the container, where the water is located. So, for a short period of time, the valve is going to open. Now when the coin hits this position it's gonna slip and fall. So the weight is lost, and the scale returns to its original position. Let me try once more. Just like that. Let's move on here with some more of the Heron's inventions, yeah? There

is a question about how you have discovered these mechanisms. Yeah. We're going to explain this at the end. But since we are here, we can have a look at an example. As I said before, all of these exhibits are based on the archaeological or text we found from the past. For example, this is a text, just a part from the text, describing the first vending machine that we just saw. So, many of these texts were written in Arabic, Latin, or ancient Greek. We had to translate them, research, and then and slowly reconstruct them. But, it's not that simple because many of the resources are not full. We have to combine many of the sources. And

many of the times, even the inventors, they used to.. you know they used to have to.. for example, Archimedes used to make mistakes in his writings, in his writings on purpose so that people trying to copy his inventions, especially war machines, they couldn't do it successfully. But we can add to that later, as well. I continue with Heron. Here we have the first sound alarm in history. You see this door behind me, if the camera goes through the other side, I'm going to pass through the door and you are going to listen to the alarm. Lets see. *chirp from alarm* Just like that. And now, inside the house supposedly we can see the mechanism for this alarm.

Into this container there was water, and into this semi-spherical one was air. As I'm opening up the door, this trumpet here descends into the water and the air is forced out into these two whistles. But these two whistles are blowing into the water which creates these waves. And we have this chirping effect. And let's move on here and have a look at how miracles happened in ancient Greece. Now, behind me you can see the front of a temple, and here is the altar. As you know the ancient Greeks

used to perform sacrifices for their gods, so they used to light up a fire on top of the altar. Now, as you can imagine with fire, the air inside the altar, which was hollow, the air gets warmer and warmer and so it expands. Now full expansion, okay, now, under the temple, through this pipe, and into this container, what was water only. So, the air is forcing the water through the this next pipe into the Container back there at the corner. Now that container is getting heavier and heavier and slowly when the weight of that container surpassed the counterweight on the other side, the chains are going to move. These chains are passing through these wooden parts that are holding the doors. Now these

are slowly rotating and automatically we're gonna see the doors of the temple opening. So, people would think it's a miracle, and the gods thank them for the sacrifice. And even after the sacrifice was over, when they put the fire out, all this phenomena is going to be inversed. The the water is going to come back you into the container and the doors will close again. It's waiting for a moment until the doors open. Let's hear some playing here, for the doors. [faint music]

And the doors open! Now you can see the statue of goddess Athena inside the temple. Let's move on to Ktesibios. Ktesibios was the greatest inventor and engineer of ancient times. He was the founder of the mechanic engineering school of Alexandria, and he was a teacher of many inventors to follow. Let's start over here. Have a look at the clocks of ancient Greece. As you may imagine, they initially built sun dials just like this one. So, this here

is an horizontal sun dial where it's important to have a look at this pointer right here. So, as the sun rises in the morning for this, from this side, a shadow is cast from this uh pointer and it starts on the opposite side, right here. So, that would be the first hour of the day. Moving on to the next one, the second, the third, the fourth, Etc. But, this would only work for the day hours. Now as you might know, ancient Greeks used to divide the whole day into 12 day hours and 12 night hours. And these hours didn't have every day the same duration. For example, now during the summer days, the day hours were a lot longer than the night hours. But every day they had different and some small changes. Now, in order to solve the

problem and tell the time at any time of the day, they invented hydraulic clocks. Now, behind me is a hydraulic clock of Ktesibios. Now, this is considered as automation merely. If there was just constant water supply on its back right here, it would work forever without any human intervention. Now, as the water is flowing back there. It comes into these two containers. Now, the bottom right here is um is adjusting to the level. So if the level of this container is always under the same spot, it means that

the flow of the water through this valve would be always the same as well. So, as you can imagine the water is slowly dropping into this container during the day and the water level increases. As the water level increases this statue that is connected to the water level through a floater is coming up and indicates the hours of the day. Each line of this represents a

day hour until the thicker line right here we have all the 12 day hours, and after the thicker line we have the night hours. Now, as I said we need to change the duration of each day hour automatically. That's why you can see these gear wheels down there. And pay close attention, as there are statue is going up, you can see these teeth uh part right here is going to rotate this gear wheel. But, all the other gear wheels stayed at the same place. Only during the night, when the statue goes down, it's gonna rotate slowly this gear wheel. But

if you pay close attention this gear wheel is gonna rotate the screw on this other side. And this rotates the next gear wheel. This is all designed that every time the statue goes down, it's going to rotate the whole cylinder up here by one divided by 365. With me? This means that after a whole year, this cylinder is going to come back to the same position. That's why you can see this uh lines here and have this, say, for example, here is the summer solstice on the 21st of June will have the longest day hour of the year, and the shortest night hour. Slowly, as it is rotating, we have here equal day night, and at this position we have the shortest day of the year. And for many city-states this date the 21st of December

was the first date, the first day of the year. And of course, showing another hydraulic clock, let me go on this side where we can have a look at an automatic catapult. Let me.. So, this automatic catapult, the repeating catapult of Dionysius. And this is considered as the first user chain drive. So, they simply needed

one soldier to operate this catapult. Well, he would just spin this lever on the back of it. So, as I'm speaking, you can see, automatically, that it's going to grab onto the rope right here, like this, and then I just have to spin it uh backwards. You can see the arrow is already loaded on the caliber, as I'm spinning, it's going to bring it right here. Now, we're

ready to shoot. I simply aim and shoot over there. Just like that. And then I keep rotating. Automatically, it's gonna get this the next arrow and every three seconds you can imagine in the ancient wars they could shoot an arrow. Now, this catapult as it is uh set up right here

at a half a degree of a 90, it could shoot up to 70 meters away. If I wanted to shoot at a further distance, I simply change the angle right here. It could shoot an arrow just like these ones up to 150 meters away. And let's move on to an invention by Plato. We've all heard of the great philosopher, Plato. And according to Pindar, who is describing this invention, Plato wanted to wake up every day day after seven hours of sleep. So, he invented an alarm clock that looked like an hourglass, he said. It was made out of four clay cups and every night before going to bed you used to fill the first cup with water. As he was sleeping, the the water was slowly dropping

through this valve onto the next one. After seven hours exactly, the next one, the second cup, would be filled with water-- but this cup is just like a cup of Pythagoras that we saw in the beginning. This means that it had a siphon inside it and whenever the siphon is filled with water, the water empties rapidly to the third one, and the third one was sealed on its top and there was only air in it. So, the water forces the air out through this little whistle as well. So, they would listen to the bird chirping effect, and he would wake up. And now, during the day, the water would slowly drop at the end of the next cup, and at night he would simply refill the first one. And every day he could do the same thing

over. Now as you can see here, we opened the valve all the way so we don't have to wait seven hours in about one or two minutes we're going to hear the bird sound whistling again. So, it's gonna be very loud. I don't know, maybe we'll have to mute ourselves for a bit. Let's see...

[faint whistle] Oh, that was all, with the alarm clock. Now let's keep going now with some toys invented by the ancient Greeks. Now this here is the ostomachion of Archimedes. Ostomachion means "battle of the bones". This was a toy he invented for the students where it looks like a puzzle that consisted of 14 different shapes. Triangles and polygons, Etc.. Now there were three different ways to be played. The first way goes with this 14 pieces to form

a square, as you saw it in the beginning. Now that seems like an easy puzzle, but it was very difficult and there were... Let me hold it this way. And and there were 536 different unique solutions for this problem. Now the second way was with these same 14 pieces to form some figures. You can see here an elephant, they could form a soldier, a tower, a cup, etc... and the third way was a

mathematical problem. Here, the students of Archimedes had to calculate the area of each piece and find what relevance it had to the area of the whole square and the result was to find these numbers right here. Now, it's in the end of our presentation, let's go with another invention by Archimedes which is the hydraulic endless screw of Archimedes. It was a screw invented to pump water.

As I'm spinning here, with my hand on the bottom right there, and the water is slowly ascending. Coming right from here. You can see over there on the monitor where they used to build the screw even larger a man would stand on top. He would run, walk, and pump even more water.

So, I believe now we have some time for questions. I don't know how how much time I have left, I think we reached about 40 minutes. We are free to ask anything. Katie: Yes, we have some questions already. I'm going to start

with the first question that came in. What are the most important ancient Greek texts that describe these technologies? Panagiotis: Look for example, we have to start a bit with... most of these texts were originally written in Alexandria, where, as I said before, Ktesibios from the third century BC founded the first engineering school. Many of the students, people he talked with- even Archimedes-- used to travel in Alexandria in order to study over there. As you know, the Great Library of Alexandria was burned two times at least and many of the texts had to be translated. That's why many of the texts now we have them in Arabic and not in their original form. But some of the most important texts that we have found today are the Pneumatics

from Philon or Automatopoiitiki (On Automata-Making). These are all written in Greek. For example, the the text Automatopoiitiki (On Automata-Making) is a whole book dedicated to the description only of the static automatic theater that was shown in the beginning. That whole theater was described in a whole book where we have even directions for the students in order to rebuild them. They're described in such detail even the type of ropes they would use inside the theater, it had a specific process before being built. For example, he says to his students that you will need to take this specific rope, you should hang it on a tree with a weight on the bottom for two days- exactly- in order for it to be completely dry. And many details like this one.

Katie: We have another question that came in the chat. Can you talk a bit about how you discovered how these mechanisms work? Panagiotis: How we discovered the operational part of the invention? Katie: I think how they how they function and what they do. Panagiotis: Yeah! So, look, all of these inventions inside our museum are based on scientific texts. and I mean scientific texts, not from Homer, for example, but only for the original creator of these inventions. and all of these were astronomers.. we didn't talk today about astronomy, for example, but all of these texts were originally written by these engineers who mainly produce these texts for students. And in inside them, they describe all the the

knowledge they had behind these mechanisms: how a gear wheel is going to be connected to the next one, and what is the mathematical.. the math behind it. Katie: And this is a different question, but I think it kind of relates to the text. What do we know about the craftsmen or the engineers who made these devices? So, for example, were there dedicated workshops or would these technology items be the work of individuals or studios that also made weapons or buildings or other products? Panagiotis: Well, yeah. So, definitely, there were

a workshops. Each great inventor had their own team. They were also professors of this engineering school of the time, and all of this, most of this evolution of technology happened in Alexandria were different engineers had the different fields. But what's important to note is that everyone had different backgrounds. For example, Archimedes who also started in Alexandria, he comes from a rich background. He had the access to students, to professors, from an early age. But Ktesibios, for example, was a the son of a groomer. But to answer simply

the question, yeah, there were plenty of workshops depending and... on the field of its inventor. For example, the astronomers didn't have too much of workshops, of the workshop, because they were mainly traveling, and they were on ships. But people who built, for example, the catapults or stuff for the siege of the city, for the defending of the city, they had workshops inside the city. Katie: So the next question we have is: What is the archaeological evidence for these machines or are there more written descriptions of different machines? Panagiotis: Well, most of them are...

most of the evidence we have are written texts. But there are some minimal relevant archaeological finds. For example, we.. or I don't know if you have heard of the Antikythera Mechanism, which is an astronomical instrument which is considered today as the first computer, the first computer in history. For that one we have an archaeological find that is also in Athens, as well. And you can have a look also some pictures of it now, back here, so that mechanism is a built... it includes more than 35 gear wheels inside it. And we found the main part of the gear wheels in a shipwreck

around a hundred years ago. Here they had we had to scan all these findings and slowly with x-rays and many, and many other techniques, and recreate and have a greater understanding of how the gear wheels inside it worked. But alongside the written texts, we can have a result of how they... the original inventions were built. And we also have some other finds about some musical instruments and we hope any time, any day, to come across more. Katie: Well, and I have a.. I was observing that many of your replicas are made out of wood or metal or natural materials. And so, I was wondering, you know, do you think there could have been could have been technologies like this in the past that were used, but then have been lost? Because they have decayed or they were melted down in the past? Panagiotis: Well, yes, of course. All the

wooden parts could not survive through time. And we are lucky to even have some bronze parts of the Antikythera Mechanism. What is important that you mentioned is that many of these inventions, and a great part of this technology, was sadly lost for many reasons: mainly economical and political ones. And even um the the fanatism of religion contributed to the loss of this technology. Katie: We have another question that is wondering; Do you know how many temples might have had the automatic opening doors? Panagiotis: Well, that's a good question. Because for this one

we only have that the description. It's described by Heron where he describes many parts of religious technology but Heron lived in the first century A.D so Heron used to describe the inventions of the "ancient engineers", as he calls them, which were Archimedes, Ktesibios, and Philon that we mentioned before. Now since Heron probably lived fourth centuries

after them, he has said some of his... of their texts but he doesn't describe on which temple this mechanism was found. And we still don't know to this day. Katie: I think we need it here in Nashville, for our replica of the Parthenon, that would be very fun to have automatic doors here. Panagiotis: Yeah, yeah. The first building in history, and the next original automation, you can imagine

this is the first automatically opening doors, but if you research through times, the next building automation would be more than 15 centuries later. Katie: The next question we have: Do you know of any researchers or groups currently working with or studying or recreating other ancient technology? And there's a follow-up: Is there any particular archaeological site that has yielded recognizable technology? Panagiotis: Well, here, for us, the museum, as you might know is the Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology. There's no other museum about ancient Greek technology in Greece, but there are other museums about ancient technologies in general. For example, there is a museum about Asian technology and et cetera. Here, the main research was done by my father. Kostas Kotsanas, who started more than 35 years ago. He has devoted his whole life into researching all these ancient Greek, Latin, and Arabic texts, translating them, and slowly, as mechanical engineer himself, trying to reconstruct them. Katie: And I know that the Kotsanas Museum of Ancient GreekTtechnology is fairly new in Athens. Could you talk a little bit about the challenges of making these replicas

and opening a museum in Athens over the past couple years? I think did you open in 2018, or 2019? Panagiotis: Yeah, yeah. So, as I said, the research... the first part was the research. It started more than 30 years ago. After 20 years of research we opened our first museum which was in our base in Ancient Olympia. Now, after that, we slowly recreated more

and more exhibits and there was a great interest for from the crowd of the exhibit... travel to Athens. Many more schools would be able to visit, et cetera. We slowly built a traveling exhibition for that purpose that was traveling around Greece. We managed to collect some funds and later after 15 years, we managed to have our own museum in Athens. Now after that we have since then opened in Crete, in Iraklio (Heraklion), and also in the Greek island Rhodes. But traveling exhibitions from our museum keep constantly

traveling around the world. We have done traveling exhibits in the science museums of Korea, all of them, in China, Japan, Thailand. Singapore, in Alexandria in Egypt, at most of the counties of Europe, and we've been also in the U.S once, where we had an exhibition at the University of Connecticut. Katie: Some really great questions today. I had the pleasure

of visiting the museum last summer and it is really a fantastic museum to visit because you do get to think about the people living thousands of years ago and some of the inventions that, you know, you don't hear of, it's not a very well-known subject. So, if you do have the chance to go to Greece, and specifically Athens, the museum is in Kolonaki, it's right downtown central Athens. It's a great place to visit and see amazing replicas and, as you mentioned, those musical instruments, too. So you really get a well-rounded picture of what life was like and what people were thinking about and creating and inventing in ancient times. I don't see any final questions, so we'll end it there. We do have another Symposium

coming up August 29th. It'll be about the American Artist Sanford Gifford so you're welcome to head to and register for our next Symposium. You're also all invited to come see The Role of a Replica in person! Panagiotis, thank you so much for joining us, for staying late in the night at your museum at Greece so we can join you here in Nashville and around the world. Thank you very much. Panagiotis Thank you for having me. Katie: Thank you all for joining us, have a great night! Panagiotis: Bye bye! Thanks for watching. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you're the first to know about all the exciting things happening at the Nashville Parthenon.

2023-10-10 17:41

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