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Ancient cosmological computation
What was discovered?
1st century BCE, Greek computational device (c. 80 BCE) .
The 32 gears involved in this mechanism was used to chart the heavens. The Antikythera instrument is the earliest known use of a differential gear, not developed until 1000 AD and now an essential part of a rear axle of a car, truck, bus or automotive vehicle.
The animation makes clear (see here) that the device was a sophisticated instrument for the purposes of informing users about celestial navigation so that they might track the passage of time while at sea or on land in a more accurate and thus precise and predictive manner.
"This You-tube video is a tribute from Swiss clock-maker Hublot and film-maker Philippe Nicolet to this device, known as the Antikythera Mechanism, or the world's "first computer". The fragments of the Mechanism were discovered in 1901 by sponge divers near the island of Antikythera. It is kept since then at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece."
Recorded from a display at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece: J.V. Siry, 5-2014.
The name is given to the gear mechanism based on the nearest island: Antikythera, located in the Laconian Gulf south of the Peloponnesus peninsula. Kythera is the larger island and across from it is Antikythera, in the Aegean Sea between Crete and the Peloponnesus. These twin isles form the straights at the bottom of which this device was discovered. Divers retrieved the crushed and encrusted device from a submerged wrecked vessel wherein it was entombed for nearly two millennia.