Antikythera mechanism – The first known analogue computer is being exhibited in Athens

Antikythera mechanism – The first known analogue computer is being exhibited in Athens

This artefact was retrieved from the sea in 1901, and identified on 17 May 1902 as containing a gear by archaeologist Valerios Stais, among wreckage retrieved from a shipwreck off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera. The instrument is believed to have been designed and constructed by Greek scientists and has been variously dated to about 87 BC, or between 150 and 100 BC, or to 205 BC, or to within a generation before the shipwreck, which has been dated to approximately 70–60 BC.

The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient hand-powered Greek analogue computer which has also been described as the first example of such device used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for calendar and astrological purposes decades in advance.

All known fragments of the Antikythera mechanism are now kept at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, along with a number of artistic reconstructions and replicas of the mechanism to demonstrate how it may have looked and worked.


Featured Image: The Antikythera mechanism / Image: via mygreekodyssey.com

Websites: namuseum.gr


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