Sunday, May 3, 2020

Ancient Greeks May Have Used World’s First Computer to Predict the Future

The Antikythera Mechanism known as the world’s oldest computer. 
(Credit: LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

After Greek sponge divers stumbled on the wreck of an ancient ship off the coast of the island of Antikythera in 1901, excavations recovered a massive haul of treasures including glassware, ceramics, furniture, jewelry and statues of both marble and bronze. By far the most stunning artifact recovered, however, was a mangled, fragmented jumble of bronze gears and plates, all encrusted with centuries’ worth of sediment.

Dating to the first century B.C., the so-called Antikythera mechanism stands as one of the most exciting archaeological discoveries ever made. It has been called the world’s first mechanical computer, showcasing the engineering prowess of the ancient Greeks as well as their impressive knowledge of astronomy. Nothing else like it would emerge for more than 1,000 years.

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