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Ancient device yields secrets

By Dan Vergano
Archaeologists had long known the Antikythera Mechanism, a bronze relic pulled from a Roman shipwreck, had been an astronomical calculator used by the ancient Greeks to predict phases of the moon and planets. Now, a study out Wednesday shows the mechanism, which is at least 2,100 years old, also revealed the timing of the Greek Olympics, kept tabs on the local calendar and was used for eclipse predictions, making the device surprisingly practical.

The badly corroded mechanism was uncovered by sponge divers in 1901 and resides at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Scholarly interest has grown over the last five decades, most recently with the 2006 release of the first X-ray analysis.

Read the original article at: USA Today

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