Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I suppose you already knew this

But I sure didn't. Ian Sample, writing in The Guardian on Thursday, November 30th 2006 (and updated October 11th 2007), writes about the 2000-year-old computer salvaged from a Roman shipwreck that has been reconstructed. Turns out to be a highly sophisticated astronomical calendar "capable of tracking with remarkable precision the position of the sun, several heavenly bodies and the phases of the moon." It is suggested that it dates back to 150-100 BCE and, among other things, can track the irregular orbit of the moon. A truly fascinating story and mind-bending discovery.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know. I have a bit of a problem with reconstructions. There have been a lot of examples over the years where archeologists have reconstructed some article from pieces they found lying close together and gotten it completely the musical instrument attributed to ancient Sumer which turned out to be just two regular ones crushed together. Though in this case, it looks more clearly like a piece of equipment lost by a careless agent of the crosstime enforcers...