The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient mechanical calculator (also described as the first known mechanical computer) designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was recovered in 1901 from the Antikythera wreck, but its complexity and significance were not understood until decades later. It is now thought to have been built about 150 BC. Technological artifacts of similar complexity did not reappear until the 14th century, when mechanical astronomical clocks appeared in Europe.

Professor Michael Edmunds of Cardiff University who led the most recent study of the mechanism said: “This device is just extraordinary, the only thing of its kind. The design is beautiful, the astronomy is exactly right. The way the mechanics are designed just makes your jaw drop. Whoever has done this has done it extremely carefully…in terms of historic and scarcity value, I have to regard this mechanism as being more valuable than the Mona Lisa.”

The device is displayed in the Bronze Collection of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, accompanied by a reconstruction made and offered to the museum by Derek de Solla Price.

The most recent findings of The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project were
published in the July 30, 2008, edition of Nature.

Read another article here.

As you might expect, some believe it came from ancient India.

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