On Ancient Technology

Early researchers suspected right away that the Antikythera Mechanism was a mechanical sky chart of sorts—a machine that seemed to predict the position of celestial bodies, phases of the moon, and the timing of eclipses. But its mere existence was wildly anachronistic. The mechanism dated to around 200 B.C., yet nothing approaching its workmanship would reappear in history until the first mechanical astronomical clocks were built in Europe, some 1,500 years later... In the past decade, 3D scanning technology has helped reveal the inner workings of the device—including a set of interlocking gears—and an intricate set of inscriptions on the mechanism. Now, for the first time in the century since the Antikythera Mechanism was pulled from the sea, an international team of researchers has translated a significant portion of the text inscribed on the device... ‘So these very small texts are a very big thing for us.’ Big enough to determine that the mechanism was, Jones says, something of a ‘philosopher’s instructional device,’ and the text itself was a guide to reading it.

"The Most Mysterious Object in the History of Technology" - http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/06/antikythera-mechanism-whoa/487832/ 

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