Ancient Tech



300px-NAMA_Machine_d'Anticythère_1I’ve posted on this before, but exactly 115 years ago today, divers looking for sponges discovered the wreck of a 2,000-year-old vessel off the Greek island Antikythera. Inside the wreck was a wooden box containing a brass device with a dozen gears and whose workmanship everyone thought would not be achieved until the 16th century. It became known as the Antikythera Mechanism. Archaeologists and scientists reconstructed a working mechanism from the design of the corroded device and found it to be a computer! Scientific American magazine announced: “The mechanism is like a great astronomical clock … or like a modern analogue computer which uses mechanical parts to save tedious calculation.”

Click here for NOVA’s full-length program on the Antikythera Mechanism.


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