Sometimes ancient history can get a bit more ancient.
The ancient Greek Antikythera Mechanism — also known as the world’s “oldest analog computer” for its ability to predict lunar and solar eclipses and solar, lunar and planetary positions — may be much older than previously thought.
The machine’s dials actually start counting around 205 B.C., which would mean the ancient artifact is 50 to 100 years older than researchers previously believed.
But what do 50 to 100 years imply?
- The Antikythera was already very old when it was shipwrecked outside Crete sometime between 85 and 60 B.C. This would mean that the Antikythera, and possibly other similarly advanced technologies, may have been in use years, decades or even centuries before we believed. While this is just one discovery surrounding one device, it could potentially open the floodgates for further examination of other such ancient wonders.
- Unlike previously believed, Archimedes, the ancient Greek mathematician, physicist, inventor and astronomer, probably didn’t have anything to do with this ancient technology. Indeed, in 2008 a group of researchers linked language found inside the device to Archimedes and many believed he was therefore its creator. However, Archimedes was killed in 212 B.C., which means a connection to the mathematicians is now even less likely.
Here a 3D visualisation of the oldest computer in the world:
The research fills a gap in ancient scientific history by indicating that the Greeks were able to predict eclipses and engineer a highly complex machine much earlier than previously thought.
Ancient mystery and alien technology are just fascinating!