2000 year-old Greek “computer” recreated

A British curator has recreated an ancient proto-computer, the Antikythera device, based on 2000 year-old salvaged parts, X-ray tomography and huge patience – and got it to work!

As you can see in the NewScientist video, it was an example of a mechanical computer – designed to predict the relative positions of the planets, chart astrology and count down to the Olympics.It shows us just how advanced Greek science was, and makes us wonder – what would have happened if this technology had not been lost? Would the Greeks have been playing Spore in 200AD?

Some questions to think about:

– What makes this a computer?

– What sets it apart from an old alarm clock?

– Where do you think we would be now if this knowledge hadn’t been lost?

About Stephen

Director of Learning & MYP Coordinator at Canadian Academy, Kobe, Japan. Formerly MYP HS Science & IBDP Bio teacher and missing it terribly. Twitterist (@sjtylr), dad and bloggerer.

Posted on December 13, 2008, in National Geographic, New Scientist and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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