Antikythera Mechanism: The Ancient Greek Artefact that Continues to Amaze Scientists – Greek Reporter
May 17 is celebrated in the scientific world as the day the Antikythera Mechanism was discovered in 1901, an Ancient Greek device that some scientists have called the world’s first computer.
The Antikythera mechanism was discovered inside an ancient shipwreck by Greek sponge divers in 1901. After numerous studies, it was estimated to have been constructed between 150 BC and 100 BC. A later study places it at 205 BC, seven years after the death of Archimedes.
Data from decoding the inscriptions inside the folds of the mechanism show that it can be considered as the world’s oldest computer, which gave the user the ability to see exact times of eclipses of the moon and the sun and the motion of celestial bodies.
On one side of the device lies a handle that starts the movement of the whole system. By turning the handle and rotating the gauges in the front and rear of the mechanism, the user could set a date that would reveal the astronomical phenomena that would occur around the Earth.
Physician Yiannis Bitsakis has said that today the NASA website can detail all the eclipses of the past and those that are to occur in the future. “What we do with computers today, it was done with the Antikythera Mechanism about 2000 years ago,” he said.
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