Ancient Computer: The Antikythera Mechanism

In the spring of 1900, at the tiny rocky island of Antikythera a violent storm drives a group of sponge divers to take shelter, after three days the storm finally subsided and one of the divers decided to try his luck under water, he finds something entirely unexpected. All around him on the seabed are corroded human limbs, horses and faces. It is the largest horde of ancient marble and bronze sculptures ever found, the cargo of an overloaded galley that sank over 2000 years ago, carrying treasure from Greek colonies in the Mediterranean conquered by rome.

Over the next 9 months the divers bring up some of Ancient Greece’s most beautiful artefacts, among these however a mysterious object is found, on close inspection an archaeologist discovers that this object is in fact a machine built out of finely crafted brass gears and cogs. This machine became known as The Antikythera Mechanism, the worlds first computer designed to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for calendrical and astrological purposes, as well as the cycles of Olympic Games.

Join The Conversation

8 Comments / User Reviews

Leave Your Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. The bigger question is why didn’t they build more of these since once the primary model is defined replication follows, and if its a one off, then why and if not a one off where did the Greeks get this insight, why wasn’t it passed on to following generations or is it from a previously highly advanced unknown civilization and the Greeks just found the device and knew how to use it but not how to replicate it. Much like a computer today, we know how to use but can’t build them ourselves

  2. The Geocentric Model that places the Earth as the center of the Solar System proved to be a problem to explain with the Retrograde of the Planet Mars. This problem was solved when Copernicus came up with a new model called the Heliocentric Model that placed the Sun at the center of the Solar System and not the Planet Earth; however, few knew about Copernicus’s findings because he wrote it in the Educated Latin Language, and the Catholic Church brought him to a hearing to see if he was being blasphemous to the Church. His reply was that he really did not know if the model was a true model, or if it was just fiction. Galileo came along later and he also took up the Heliocentric Model, and Galileo wrote his findings in a common language for anyone to read and understand. Galileo was sentenced to house imprisonment for the rest of his life until he died by the Catholic Church under the charges of Blasphemy. Now for this found Computer to work under a Geocentric Model is fascinating if it can make the Retrograde of the Planet Mars work in the design by what I guess was the little slots in some of the circular gears that would make the Planet Mars perform the Retrograde; however, when Mathematics are the only tool to explain the Solar System, then only the Heliocentric Model will work correctly as the Western World so painfully finally found out, and about 350 years later on October 30, 1992 the Catholic Church admitted that Galileo was correct in the Heliocentric Model which places the Sun, and not the Earth at the center of the Solar System, and that it is not Blasphemy!
    EYE 5

  3. Link is gone

  4. Well one thing’s for sure. It aint from the first century BC!!

  5. Is it wrong of me to just write-off any documentary the moment I hear an American narrator..? Nobody does docos like the BBC.