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Google Doodle marks discovery of world's first computer

Google Doodle marks discovery of world's first computer

Google highlights discovery of the Antikythera mechanism, widely referred to as the first known analog computer.

However, the story of the "world's first computer" is an incredible one and, like with most of these little cartoons on the search engine, you will likely thank Google for making you aware of this intriguing milestone.

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In 1902, Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais sifted through some artifacts from a shipwreck at Antikythera. As the company explains, the Doodle "illustrates how a rusty remnant can open up a skyful of knowledge and inspiration". But the researchers don't know for certain the device's objective, or who used it - and they likely never will. The odd object resembled a wheel or a gear, and it captured the attention of the archaeologist, who took it for further study.

The archaic looking doodle depicts a stone like wheel predicting the Olympics, lunar and solar eclipse and tracking planetary positions. Beneath the weight of the water, the sand, and the wrecked ship that once carried it, the ancient astronomical computer's bronze gears and mechanical parts slowly warped and rusted.

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For the past several decades, scientists have been using X-rays and CT scans to look inside the Antikythera Mechanism and reconstruct what it probably looked like when it was first made, sometime between 200 and 70 BCE.

Initially, they thought it dated back to 85 BC.

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


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