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Earliest computer? In 1900, a Greek sponge diver spotted a shipwreck off the coast of the tiny island of Antikythera. Little did he know that amongst the jewellery and statues recovered from the wreck, the most precious item would be a lump of green rock with gears sticking out of it.

The “rock” turned out to be the earliest example of an analog computer: an intricate mechanism with more than 30 gears and writings that scientists thought was used to calculate the motion of the sun and the moon against a background of fixed stars. The Antikythera Mechanism, as the device was named, was dated from around 100 BC. It would take about another 1,000 years for the appearance of similar levels of technical sophistication in the West. Who built the machine and why the technology was lost remained a mystery. http://www.neatorama.com 

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