The Mysterious Antikythera Mechanism: The World First Computer

Antikythera Mechanism - Antikythera Mechanism Research Project

Image: The Antikythera Mechanism

Image Source: Antikythera Mechanism Research Project

 

The Antikythera mechanism has been called “the world first computer.” The mechanism was developed by the Greeks around 100 B.C. Recently, scientists using modern-day techniques have concluded that the Antikythera mechanism was an astronomical calculator.

An article titled “Ancient Greek Computer’s Inner Workings Deciphered,” written by Kate Ravilious and published in the National Geographic News, says that the device was used to display the motions of moons and planets and to predict eclipses of the moon and the sun.

Using advanced new imaging technology, scientists were also able to decipher some of the texts inscribed in the mechanism. According to the article, the inscriptions include “geographical references such as ‘south,’ ‘Spain,’’and ‘Pharos’—the island in Egypt that once housed the wonder of the world known as the lighthouse of Alexandria.”

To read the article, visit the web page of the National Geographic News.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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