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Decoding an Ancient Computer

By Tony Freeth

Key Concepts:

■ The Antikythera mechanism is a unique mechanical calculator from second-century B.C. Greece. Its sophistication surprised archaeologists when it was discovered in 1901. But no one had anticipated its true power.

■ Advanced imaging tools have finally enabled researchers to reconstruct how the device predicted lunar and solar eclipses and the motion of the moon in the sky.

■ Inscriptions on the mechanism suggest that it might have been built in the Greek city of Syracuse (now in modern Sicily), perhaps in a tradition that originated with Archimedes.

Read the full article [NOTE: Opens as a pdf.]

(H/T History of the Ancient World)

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