Ancient People Used Computers

Perhaps The Flintstones were right all along.

Antikythera Computer
c. 1st Century B.C.

It took scientists a century—and the help of a $500,000 x-ray tomography system—to finally unravel the Antikythera Mechanism's mysteries. Discovered in 1900 amid the remains of an ancient shipwreck, the device survived only as a heavily corroded mechanism and countless scattered lumps of metal. At first, it played second fiddle to the classical statues found alongside it. With the discovery that it contained a differential gear—thought to be an 18th-century invention—its mystery deepened.

Confirmed to be the remains of a fully-functional mechanical computer in 2006, the mechanism is perhaps a achievement of the engineers of ancient Rhodes—and a way to sail from Alexandria to Athens without getting lost.

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