History is an astounding subject. The unsolved mysteries of the present can only be concluded if one has exclusive knowledge of the past. Historians and archeologists spend their entire lifetime in exploring the dead and the buried. They do this not out of curiosity, but because they understand what we are sowing today is just a seed of the past. One unusual discovery that has fascinated historians for more than a century is – the Antikythera mechanism.
In 1901, an archaeologist found a peculiar thing which had a series of brass gears and dials mounted in a case. Now, this little thing is famously called the first computer that human ever made.
Feeling confused? After all, it looks like a piece of rock found in junkyards. Interestingly, it was a machine with at least two dozen gears, laid neatly on top of one another. Since it was found in a sea near the coast of Greek island. Antikythera, the workings of this object is famously called the Antikythera mechanism. During its discovery, it was first concluded to be some sort of a clock, calendar, or calculating device.
Fifty years later, Historian, Derek J. de Solla Price, provided the most thorough scientific analysis of this object which is valued till today. According to him, the gear system was used to predict the position of the planets and stars in the sky. The main gear would move to represent the calendar year which would move many separate smaller gears to represent the motions of the planets, sun, and moon.
In short, if one could set the main gear according to the present day and month, then one can get the location of the celestial objects of that date. Price declared that it was a computer and its mechanism is like a great astronomical clock. Over the years, Scientists have learned more about how the Antikythera mechanism works and designed its modern model. Isn’t that fascinating!
You can watch here how the Antikythera Mechanism works: