Discovery of remains 2,000-year-old “computer”Amazingly complex, bumbling scientists.
The Antikythera Mechanism, an astronomical calendar, has been called the “first computer” and generations of scientists have been baffled by its discovery on a Greek shipwreck in 1901.
It is a manual timepiece that uses an arrangement of wings to follow the celestial time of the Sun, Moon, and planets. It also served as a calendar recording the phases of the moon and eclipse times.
Although seemingly relatively simple, the mechanism was ahead of its time, technologically more sophisticated than any other tool invented over the next 1,000 years.
In its current state, the mechanism is found in 82 separate pieces, including 30 corroded bronze cogwheels, with only one-third of its original structure remaining.
UCL (University College London) experts analyzed the device through 3D computer modeling, which helped solve the mystery of its operation and identify a “genius creation”.
Adam Wojcik, a materials scientist at UCL, said: “We believe our reconstruction matches all the evidence scientists have to date.”
According to his theory, the device tracked the movement of the Sun, Moon and planets in central rings, as the ancient Greeks believed that the Sun and planets revolved around the Earth, not the Sun.
Researchers explain that Scientific reports: “Solving this complex three-dimensional puzzle reveals the creation of genius: a combination of cycles of Babylonian astronomy, the mathematics of the Academy of Athens, and ancient Greek astronomical theories.”