Definition: The Antikythera Mechanism is a 2000-year-old, shoebox-size, bronze, mechanical gadget thought to have been an astronomical device. Sponge-divers looking at a shipwreck, off the Greek island of Antikythera, in 1900 (National Geographic says 1901), found this ancient calculator or "first mechanical computer". It contains 30 bronze gears and about 224 teeth. Its complexity has been compared with 18th century clockworks. State of the art imaging techniques (X-ray computer tomography and computer-enhanced optical imaging techniques) applied to it revealed its ability to predict lunar and solar eclipses. It may have shown the motions of the planets.
- "Crusty Old Computer," by Peter Weiss. Science News, Vol. 170, No. 23 (Dec. 2, 2006), pp. 357-358.
- Ancient Greek Computer's Inner Workings Deciphered, by Kate Ravilious, for National Geographic News. November 29, 2006.
Also Known As: first mechanical computer
Alternate Spellings: Anticythera Mechanism