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The World's Oldest Computer: Taking Inspiration from the Antikythera Mechanism

Hey there history buffs, have you ever heard of the Antikythera mechanism? It's an ancient Greek analog computer that was used to track the movements of the sun, moon, and planets. Pretty cool, huh?

The mechanism was discovered in 1901 by a group of sponge divers off the coast of the Greek island of Antikythera. It's believed to have been built around 150-100 BCE, making it the world's oldest known geared mechanism.

The device was designed to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for calendrical and astrological purposes. It was made up of at least 30 bronze gears and dials, and it was incredibly complex for its time.

For years, historians and archaeologists puzzled over the device, trying to understand its purpose and design. It wasn't until the 1950s that a team of scientists finally began to unravel its mysteries using X-ray and imaging technology.

Thanks to their work, we now know that the Antikythera mechanism was a highly advanced astronomical calculator. It was able to calculate the cycles of the sun, moon, and planets, predict eclipses, and even display the phase of the moon.

The device was incredibly advanced for its time, and it's a testament to the ingenuity and knowledge of the ancient Greeks. It's also a reminder that we still have much to learn from the past.

James and I have decided to tackle the Antikythera in true S&T fashion! We know we have a lot of work ahead of us, we want to make a version that is totally our own. Stay tuned and keep track of our progress. We'll certainly be releasing an Instructables guide when all is said and done.


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