The Antikythera Mechanism explained

While I was on vacation The New York Times had an article about the latest research on the Antikythera Mechanism. If you want to read more there is also a web site for the research-project itself.

If you have no idea of what I’m talking about, and want to know what the Antikythera Mechanism is, then Wikipedia as usual has a good explanation.

The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient mechanical calculator (also described as the first known "mechanical computer") designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was discovered in the Antikythera wreck off the Greek island of Antikythera, between Kythera and Crete, in 1900. Subsequent investigation, particularly in 2006, dated it to about 150–100 BC, and hypothesised that it was on board a ship that sank en route from the Greek island of Rhodes to Rome. Technological artifacts of similar complexity did not reappear until a thousand years later.

So, it might be considered a historical anachronism. Something so advanced that many people do not believe it could have be created 2100+ years ago.

The latest research connects it to Corinth and possibly Syracuse (the hometown of Archimedes) and also informs us that the mechanism could among else calculate solar eclipses and the four year cycles of the Olympiad.

I wonder what more knowledge they can wrestle from this very interesting artifact.

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