(Greece) – International researchers have deciphered the text that was written on the Antikythera Mechanism. In April of 1900, sponge divers found a wreck off the island of Antikythera that contained an item known as the Antikythera Mechanism. This ancient peace of equipment is said to be an ancient, analog computer that was used in Ancient Greece to make astronomical predictions, such as when comets would arrive in the atmosphere or eclipses would occur.
The mechanism was found housed in a box and was made of at least 30 bronze gears and over 20o teeth, both of which powered the device. At the time of its discovery, the mechanism was divided into three separate parts but has since been broken down into 82 separate parts after researchers analyzed the work. Many of the items from the Antikythera wreck, including the Antikythera Mechanism, are being stored in the National Archaeological Museum.
However, up until now, the text that was written on the device hadn’t been translated. A tea of international researchers used x-ray machines as well as imaging technology to decipher the writing on this ancient computer. Mike Edmunds of Cardiff University, a member of the research team, said that the text doesn’t actual instruct how to use the device, but rather serves as a description. Alexander Jones of New York University describes the device as, “a textbook of astronomy as it was understood then, which connected the movements of the sky and the planets with the lives of the ancient Greeks and their environment.” Researchers had found it difficult to translate the writing because the device was badly damaged from the wreck and from years underwater.
Not much is known about the origins of the wreck itself. One of the theories is that the items contained on the ship were bound for Rome and were going to be used in a parade to honor Julius Caesar. However, this is under debate.