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Antikythera mechanism older than thought

The ship is believed to have sunk in the first century BC (between 85 and 60 BC), while the mechanism is estimated to have been built between 100 and 150 BC.

However, the new estimate puts the start of the calendar mechanism in 205 BC, just seven years after the death of Archimedes.

Science historian Christian Karman of the National University of Quilmes in Argentina and physicist James Evans of the University of Puget Sound of Washington, who wrote about it in the history of science magazine “Archive for History of Exact Sciences”, according to the New York Times, concluded that the inaugural dating time for the calendar is 50-100 years earlier than hitherto estimated by scientists.

The enigmatic mechanism found in the Aegean Sea, is considered a technological marvel for its time and many scientists call it the oldest analog computer in the world. Analog technology machinery did not appear before at least 1000 years later. The mechanism, inter alia, provides accurate lunar and solar eclipses, and the dates of the Olympic Games.

The two researchers estimate that the prediction of eclipses by the mechanism were based on Babylonian numerical methods, which the ancient Greeks had borrowed.

Other scientists have linked the mechanism to famous mathematician and inventor Archimedes, who died in 212 BC In 2008 a research team analyzing the inscriptions found on the mechanism, made the assessment that it was produced in Corinth or Syracuse where Archimedes lived.

The specialist in the history of ancient mathematics Alexander Jones of New York University, said, however, that the most likely development area of the mechanism is Rhodes.

One of the two researchers, Dr. Evans, appeared skeptical of the identity of the manufacturer's admirable machine. "We know so little about ancient Greek astronomy. Only short excerpts of works have survived. It would probably be safer to not try to attribute the mechanism to a particular famous person, "he said.

International interest has increased in recent years in the explanation of the mystery of the Antikythera Mechanism, with new books added to existing literature, as well as more and better computer simulations, and even a "Lego" model. A large number of archaeologists, historians, astronomers, mathematicians and other researchers are striving to illuminate the enigma.

Moreover, recently a new Greek-American scientific diving mission with modern equipment has been scouring the sea off Antikythera, the site of the wreck, with the hope of discovering more findings. The mission, which was ended prematurely due to bad weather will continue next year.