The Antikythera Mechanism Mystery Turns 115
It has been over a century since the ancient device was found in a shipwreck off the coast of Greece.
Generally considered to be one of the most important archaeological discoveries of all time, the remarkable 2,000-year-old mechanism is believed to be a form of early astronomical computer.
How the ancient Greeks developed the device, which is filled with a staggeringly intricate array of bronze gears, remains something of a mystery – especially given the time period it was built in.
Originally retrieved from the wreckage by sponge divers, the mechanism was found alongside an array of other artefacts including coins, jewelry, pottery and statue fragments.
More recently, scientists have also discovered a skeleton belonging to one of the ship’s crew.
Researchers believe that the vessel was traveling from the coast of Asia Minor to Rome when it sunk and that it had been carrying the valuables of a woman who was due to be married.
The mechanism itself was most likely used as a mapping and navigational aid.