Antikythera Mechanism Ancient Computer Greece
The Antikythera mechanism has been touted as the world’s first analogue computer, and it dates back to 60BC. This ancient computer was discovered in 1901 in the shipwreck haul off the Greek island of Antikythera. It’s essentially a complex clockwork mechanism comprised if over 30 meshing bronze gears, designed by Greek scientists sometime between 150 and 100BC. The computer was mainly used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses decades in advance. Read more for a video and additional information.

Professor Tony Freeth of University College London (UCL) theorizes that it was built in order to calculate the Greeks’ astrological theories. For those who wish to see the Antikythera mechanism in person, just visit the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Unfortunately, it has been split into 82 fragments with much of it missing. During the 1970s, a research team placed the device in an X-ray machine and discovered dozens of cogs hidden within it.

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We are not quite sure how to interpret [the inscriptions], but they could hark back to suggestions that the color of an eclipse was some sort of omen or signal. Certain colors might be better for what’s coming than other colors. This is the first instance we have in the mechanism of any real mention of astrology rather than astronomy,” said Mike Edmunds, Professor from University of Cardiff’s astrophysics department.

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