The Antikythera Mechanism: Timepiece of the Ancient World
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Discovered in 1900 in an ancient Greek shipwreck, the Antikythera mechanism was supposedly capable of tracking the solar, lunar, eclipse, constellation, and planetary orbital calendars, in addition to the major athletic games in Greece (such as the Olympics). The device contained more than thirty gears that controlled all of these functions, and is considered to be the world's first functioning computer. One of the most complex and fascinating artifacts recovered to date from the ancient world, the Antikythera is simultaneously one of the most continuously studied and the most enigmatic devices ever to be constructed. The device was truly ahead of its time, and proves that the Greeks were capable of a technological prowess not witnessed again until the end of the Medieval Ages, nearly one and a half millennia after its invention.