Google Doodle celebrates 115 years of Antikythera

Google Doodle celebrates 115 years of Antikythera

"On display at the National Archaeological Museum of Greece, Google says the Antikythera Mechanism doodle, "... illustrates how a rusty remnant can open up a skyful of knowledge and inspiration".

Today's Google Doodle celebrates that discovery with an illustration showing the biggest part of the Antikythera mechanism, which looks like a gear or wheel.

The Antikythera mechanism is the world's first analogical computer, used by ancient Greeks to chart the movement of the sun, moon and planets, predict lunar and solar eclipses and even signal the next Olympic Games.

Researchers still ponder on other possible uses of the device. It took Copernicus until about 1500 to propose his heliocentric model in which the Earth orbits the Sun, but the Antikythera Mechanism was already predicting the sun's position, meaning its makers must have had the same idea but much earlier.

Google's Doodle page explains on May 17, 1902 Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais found this device on a shipwreck at Antikythera.

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The treasures were actually brought from the wreckage in 1900 but it initially did not stand out and was lying around for two years before Stais made the discovery. What at first appeared to be a gear or wheel turned out to be what is now widely referred to as the first known analog computer.

It was a piece of the ancient computer, which became known as the Antikythera Mechanism.

The Antikythera mechanism was also equipped with a dial to predict eclipses.

"Historians continue to ponder the Antikythera Mechanism's objective and inner workings, and visitors to the National Archaeological Museum of Greece marvel at its delicate complexity", Google said about the device. The mechanism is incredibly advanced for its time, as it features complex components which resemble those found in clocks.