Monday, September 25, 2006

From behind 2.12

A calcium-encrusted bronze object with its complex collection of cogs, wheels and dials, has been puzzled over by scientists since its discovery 102 years ago on the sea floor off the tiny island of Antikythera. It was found by sponge divers amid the wreckage of a cargo ship that sank in 80BC. The most sophisticated object from antiquity, it felt like flaky pastry and was even linked to aliens.
Now hidden inscriptions show that it is the world's oldest computer, used to map the motions of the sun, moon and planets.
A former curator at London's Science Museum said the apparatus was the best proof yet of how technologically advanced the ancients were.
Guardian Weekly, Aug 25-31 2006, p.5