A special masterclass based on our current major exhibition Wondrous Machines with Dr Janette McWilliam

Join us for a student Masterclass with Dr Janette McWilliam drawn from our current exhibition Wondrous Machines: Hero of Alexandria’s Ancient Automata. At the centre of the exhibition is Hero of Alexandria’s self-propelled shrine of Dionysius: a complex machine comprised of simple parts. 

In this masterclass, participants will explore the movement mechanisms within Hero's mobile shrine. Armed with passages from Hero’s On Automaton Making, a diagram of the shrine from a sixteenth-century manuscript, and a mechanical kit, participants will reconstruct the movement mechanisms of the shrine and gain insight into the study of ancient technology.

About Wondrous Machines

Now Open

Inspired by the enduring appeal of machines and robots, the exhibition Wondrous Machines brings to life Hero of Alexandria’s automon, a self-animated and self-propelling ancient Dionysiac shrine created in the first century CE. The exhibition both explores the sensory spectacles created by ancient automata, and by incorporating 3D printed replicas and digital animations of Hero’s shrine, examines how simple components such as falling weights, screws, cords, pulleys and axles, were used to create complex and spectacular machines by ancient engineers. The exhibition also introduces the University of Queensland’s TGR (Tiny Giant Robot), whose technology owes its origins to the research and experimentation of ancient Greco-Roman mechanists and engineers, such as Hero. 

Visit the RD Milns Antiquities Museum website for details