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Archaeology & History

Antikythera Mechanism is older than believed

By T.K. Randall
November 28, 2014 · Comment icon 22 comments

The famous mechanism discovered in the Antikythera wreck. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Marsyas
The mysterious ancient computer is now thought to date back to somewhere around 200 BC.
The world's oldest known computer, the Antikythera Mechanism, is a geared astronomical calculator that was discovered in the wreck of a ship that sunk near an island between Greece and Crete.

Up until now the device was believed to date back to 50 BC, but thanks to a new study this figure has since been pushed back a further 150 years on the basis that the mechanism itself appeared to have been an antique even at the time that the ship sunk. Archaeologists now believe that it dates back to around 200 BC.
One of the most telling new finds that lead to this conclusion was the discovery that the mechanism seemed to cover an event that took place on May 12, 205 BC.

This also dates the device to just seven years after the death of genius inventor Archimedes whose mathematical discoveries may have heavily influenced the device's design and construction.

Source: News.com.au | Comments (22)




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Comment icon #13 Posted by Ozfactor 10 years ago
The knowledge was there at that time , the Antikythera Mechanism only shows the heavenly bodies known to that age . The mention of Archimedes really opened up another avenue of research , he was known to have created devices that moved with gears , showing how the planets moved . It was believed he died before the Antikythera Mechanism was constructed but the age of the Antikythera Mechanism changes , now it looks like it was created before he was born ! . If it was created after he died, it could have been a direct influence from Achimedes and his prototypes of a moving planetary system and i... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by Ozfactor 10 years ago
I did get a chance to see it, and it is much larger than the photos would suggest. Unlike the Mona Lisa, which is so tiny compared to the size you would expect it to be. That must have been wonderful ! .. I was prepared for Mona Lisa , but was still surprised , such a small painting for such a large personality !! .. Where did you see the Antikythera Mechanism and what year ? Was it an effort to see it ,did you have to travel far ?
Comment icon #15 Posted by Peter B 10 years ago
The knowledge was there at that time , the Antikythera Mechanism only shows the heavenly bodies known to that age . The mention of Archimedes really opened up another avenue of research , he was known to have created devices that moved with gears , showing how the planets moved . It was believed he died before the Antikythera Mechanism was constructed but the age of the Antikythera Mechanism changes , now it looks like it was created before he was born ! . On what basis do you say that? The article says the device includes a reference to an event which occurred seven years after he died. Now w... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by Razer 10 years ago
That must have been wonderful ! .. I was prepared for Mona Lisa , but was still surprised , such a small painting for such a large personality !! .. Where did you see the Antikythera Mechanism and what year ? Was it an effort to see it ,did you have to travel far ? It is housed at the National Archeological Museum in Athens Greece along with many other artifacts discovered in the wreckage. I was able to visit Athens this past May, I highly recommend it.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Razer 10 years ago
Looks like that exhibit was temporary, I can't seem to find where it it is now.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Ozfactor 10 years ago
I hope it travels , I doubt it .. Must have been an incredible exhibition .
Comment icon #19 Posted by Razer 10 years ago
I hope it travels , I doubt it .. Must have been an incredible exhibition . I looks like it does travel. I really am having trouble finding its current location but here are some past ones... http://www.antikythera-mechanism.gr/events/exhibitions
Comment icon #20 Posted by Ozfactor 10 years ago
I looks like it does travel. I really am having trouble finding its current location but here are some past ones... http://www.antikythe...nts/exhibitions wow , it does a lot of travelling ! .. I will look into it and see if any plans for an Australian exhibition !!
Comment icon #21 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 10 years ago
Looks like that exhibit was temporary, I can't seem to find where it it is now. It could be on loan
Comment icon #22 Posted by SolarPlexus 10 years ago
And some still belive carbon dating is accurate.... What carbon dating has got to do with it ? Its for dating organic remnants


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