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07 September 2011

Tech Museum rediscovers Islamic Golden Age of Invention

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Only West coast stop for touring exhibit featuring Muslim achievements in art, flight, architecture and more in videos, interactive stations.

Were Orvill and Wilbur the first to take to the sky? Was Leonardo da Vinci the first to describe "machines of the future"?

In fact, a thousand years before the Wrights took flight in North Carolina, Abbas ibn Farnas soared over the Spanish countryside in a one-man glider.

And in 1206 -- more than 200 years before Leonardo conceived of his technological wonders -- Al-Jazari penned the Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices. He detailed 50 mechanical devices with instructions on how to build them.

The Tech Museum presents these and other Islamic contributions to science and technology in in "Islamic Science Rediscovered," in the touring exhibition's only West coast stop.

The Golden Age of the Islamic World (circa 8th to 18th centuries CE) comes alive in 40 stations illustrating achievements in architecture, art, astronomy, engineering, exploration, flight, mathematics, medicine, optics and water control.

"It was imperative to bring this exhibition, which has cultural as well as scientific and technological aspects, to the Silicon Valley," said spokesman Roqua Montez. The museum expects to host the touring exhibition at least through the end of 2011, he said.

The San Jose museum throws open the doors to "Islamic Science Rediscovered" Saturday, Sept. 3.

The Tech Museum is located at 201 S. Market St. in San Jose. Ticket prices are $18.99 for adults, $16.99 for seniors over 65 and college students with a valid ID card and $13.99 for children under 18.

(Courtesy: RedWoodCityPatch)

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