Google today dedicated its ‘doodle’ to commemorate the 115th anniversary of the discovery of the Antikythera Mechanism, believed to be the world’s first computer.
“Today’s Doodle illustrates how a rusty remnant can open up a skyful of knowledge and inspiration,” Google said.
The archaic looking doodle depicts a stone like wheel predicting the Olympics, lunar and solar eclipse and tracking planetary positions.
The mysterious artifact was salvaged on this date in 1902 by Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais while sifting through some artifacts from a shipwreck at Antikythera.
The wrecked Roman cargo ship was discovered two years earlier, but Stais was the first to notice an intriguing bit of bronze among the treasures. It looked like it might be a gear or wheel.
The corroded chunk of metal turned out to be part of the Antikythera Mechanism, an ancient analogue astronomical computer.
The mechanism was used to track planetary positions, predict lunar and solar eclipses, and even signalled the next Olympic Games. “It was probably also used for mapping and navigation,” Google added.
The mechanism initially dated around 85 BC, was suggested to be even older (about 150 BC) as per recent studies.
The crank-powered device was way ahead of its time — its components are as intricate as those of some 18th-century clocks.
Historians continue to ponder the Antikythera Mechanism’s purpose and inner workings, and visitors to the National Archaeological Museum of Greece marvel at its delicate complexity.