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Archimedes in Olympia: experiments with his inventions await you


The Museum of Ancient Greek scientist Archimedes has been recently opened in Olympia, Greece. Tourists are “transferred” to the BC era to enjoy the exact copies of Archimedes’ inventions and tools based on his ideas. Here you can see mechanical planetarium, screw for scooping water, odometer, hydrometer, Roman scales, huge cranes, winches, military equipment, apparatus for testing the purity of gold and other exhibits. The museum also offers to see works of other masters of the time of Archimedes – Dionysius, Philo, Ctesibius and others. The Museum of Archimedes is unusual thanks to its interactivity: you won’t see here any sign warning “do not touch”. Visitors can both read about ancient devices and use them. They are welcome to conduct experiments to find out how they work. Films demonstrated in the museum tell how to use inventions. The idea of the museum belongs to the engineer Kostas Kotsanas, himself engaged in designing of Archimedean creations’ copies.

The place chosen for the museum is very interesting. Olympia is a birthplace and used to be a playground for the Olympics. Today it houses the archaeological reserve, introducing ancient temples, stadiums, museums. This is one of the most popular attractions of Greece. Getting from Athens to Olympia by bus takes around 5.5–6 hours and costs about 30 euros. Works of Archimedes are also represented in the Technology Park in Syracuse (Italy) and in the World of science Archimedes Museum “for children from 3 to 103 years” in Limassol (Cyprus).

Archimedes lived in the third century BC and is one of the most unique scientists in the history of mankind. He has got his fame due to works in different scientific fields: mathematics, physics and mechanics. Many of his ideas were a century ahead of time and became the foundation for future discoveries. It was decided to develop his works only in the 17th century. During the Second Punic War, when Syracuse, a hometown of Archimedes, was attacked by the Roman troops, a 75-year-old genius invented catapults, which threw stones and kernels on the Romans. Powerful cranes lifted Roman ships throwing them down and they were drowned. The Romans had to abandon the assault on the city. They conquered its territory only after the betrayal, Archimedes was killed.

Phenomenal for their time inventions of the scientist amazed his contemporaries and became a breeding ground for legends about Archimedes. Naked scientist running on the streets shouting “Eureka!”, a man who burnt the Roman fleet by using mirrors, genius who declared “Give place to stand and I will move the world!” – that is all about Archimedes. In Greece, as you know, you can find everything. Now it has the Archimedes Museum.

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