Thursday, January 20, 2011

More from the “They Thought the Earth Was Flat” file ...

antikythera, main hub (Wiki Commons)
Here we learn,
A mechanical instrument made from bronze and wood in ancient Greece was a calendar for predicting solar eclipses and the dates of the Olympic Games, scientists have discovered.

X-ray analysis of the device, known as the Antikythera Mechanism, has revealed that it marked the timing of sporting events around Greece – including at Olympia. It was made in the 2nd century BC. The device was found by sponge divers in 1900 off the island of Antikythera.

[ ... ]

The mechanism ran on a complicated set of dials and bronze gears and was decorated with elaborate but indiscernible inscriptions.

- Steve Connor, "Ancient device was used to predict solar eclipses and Olympic dates", Belfast Telegraph (26 November 2010). Read more.
Did you know?: They didn’t know where babies come from either.