Ancient, Greek, Clockwork Computer

wildcat2030:

In 1900, a worn bronze machine was hauled from an ancient Greek shipwreck. With dozens of crumbling gears, the machine puzzled experts for more than a century. This documentary follows researchers who have come to suspect the machine, known as the Antikythera mechanism, is a miniature planetarium that tracked the Sun and the Moon and could predict eclipses. They have created working models, down to the pin-and-slot mechanism that gives a slight wobble to the lunar orbit, and have used a custom X-ray machine to probe layers of corroded clockwork. The Greeks “managed to cram nearly all their knowledge of astronomy into this small-geared device,” the mathematician Tony Freeth says on-screen. The maker of this “analog computer” — perhaps a thousand years ahead of its time — is still unknown, but some believe it might have been inspired by the work of Archimedes. (via Ancient Clockwork and a New ‘Eco-Drama’ – NYTimes.com)

Is this cool or what?  Sounds like a Doctor Who plot!

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