Antikythera

Antikythera is an infertile island of great strategic importance where life can be tough if the supply boat does not arrive, as often happens during the winter. The island of Antikythera is lying at the edge of the Aegean Sea between Crete and Kythera.

bronze statue of the Youth of Antikythira , Greece

Almost all the things which the few dozen permanent residents need to live on the island arrive by boat, including food and gas for the handful of vehicles there.

For the local people, the island is more than worth all this trouble – it is an earthly paradise. The aging population has seen the village shrink to just 20 residents.

There is one lone kafenion (coffee shop), which remains open throughout the year and also serves as a grocery store, and perhaps even more importantly, as a meeting place for the islanders. During the summer months, life returns again to Antikythera, as people with roots on the island return on vacations from faraway places – Australia in particular – to which many local people emigrated in the mid-20th century.

At an ancient shipwreck, the outstanding bronze statue of the Youth of Antikythira was found off the island. The shipwreck has been dated between 340 and 330 BCE and the bronze statue is on display at the National Archeological Museum of Athens. Also found was the remarkable machine of Antikythera. It is the oldest known complex mechanism for determining the movements of celestial bodies and is the first known analog computer. The characteristics of its construction indicate that it was built sometime between 300 and 10 BC.

Photo: flash.gr

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