We have all heard the great inventors of antiquity such as Archimedes and Hero
. Here is another name worth knowing: Al-Jazari. Al-Jazari was an scholar, inventor, engineer, craftsman, artist, mathematician and astronomer from Mesopotamia, who lived from about 1136 to 1206. He wrote The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices
, which describes some fifty sophisticated machines.
The video clip shown here from Ancient Discoveries
covers Al-Jazari's elephant clock -- a fantastically elaborate device which employed automata. There are a working reproductions of the elephant clock in Dubai and Switzerland.
Here is the Wikipedia article for Al Jazari
. Here is the article on the elephant clock
Labels: Al-Jazari, animals, automata, clocks, Hero, history, invention