- BBC World News
Since this artifact was found in Greece more than a century ago, scientists have been baffled.
It was among the remains of a shipwreck from Roman times, about 2,000 years ago, and it was incomplete.
It was a third of a complex system of gears that was operated manually and had some inscriptions.
The mystery of the so-called “Antikythera mechanism” has gradually been left behind, after scientists have managed to recreate the device that is often called the oldest “computer” in the world.
The rear of the mechanism was rebuilt through earlier studies, but the nature of its complex gear system at the front remained a mystery.
Finally, scientists just recreated the missing part and with this achievement they hope to understand how it worked.
It is believed that the ancient Greek device was operated manually and that it was used to predict eclipses and other astronomical events.
Scientists at University College London (UCL) believe that they have finally solved the puzzle using 3D computer models.
“An impressive display of brilliance”
Researchers they recreated all front panel and now they hope to build a replica of the Antikythera mechanism on a large scale, using modern materials.
An article published in Scientific Reports This Friday he revealed what the gear system is like, with its details and complex parts.
“The Sun, Moon and planets appear in an impressive display of ancient Greek brilliance,” said lead author of the paper, Professor Tony Freeth.
“Ours is the first model to fit all the physical evidence and it matches the descriptions in scientific inscriptions engraved on the mechanism itself, “he added.
The mechanism has been described as an astronomical calculator and also as the world’s first analog computer. It is made of bronze and includes dozens of gears.
The back features a description of the cosmos, showing the movement of the five planets that were known at the time in which the device was built.
But only 82 fragments survived, which is about a third of the device.
That means scientists have had to reconstruct its entire composition using X-ray data and an ancient Greek mathematical method.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.