They Had Analog Computers That Did Not Need Electricity or Recharging
All right, the term analog computer that some archaeologists used back in the ’60s might be slightly exaggerated but the undeniable fact is that The Antikythera Mechanism, which was recovered in 1900 -01 from the Antikythera wreck, is the earliest preserved portable astronomical calculator in history from what we know at this point in time. It displayed the positions of the sun, the moon, and most probably the four planets known in antiquity, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter. It was used to predict solar and lunar eclipses and kept an accurate calendar for the Olympic Games, while scientists have admitted that the Antikythera Mechanism is probably the most advanced and complex ancient device ever discovered. For decades, scientific investigation failed to come to a safe conclusion and pretty much relied more on imagination than the actual facts.
Now we know that the archaic artifact has a clock mechanism and constituting of about 40 hand-cut bronze gears and its construction dates to the second half of the 2nd century BC. The complicated mechanism was protected by a wooden case, which had a bronze plaque on the front and the back. Scientists have examined meticulously the world’s oldest computer to find that the Antikythera mechanism even had instructions to use on its wooden casing. It had a single dial which showed the Greek zodiac and Egyptian calendar at the front and two dials at the back that gave information about lunar cycles and eclipses.
The Antikythera mechanism bears witness to the astronomical, mathematical, and mechanical ingenuity of the ancient Greeks who worked with calculators that did not need batteries or electricity. Now that’s truly genius, isn’t it? The world’s oldest computer is currently on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.