It is the stuff of a science fiction blockbuster.

Around 65BC the ancient Greeks develop a computer that tracked the movements of the sun and moon using technology it was previously thought wasn’t available until the 16th and 18th centuries.

It gets stolen by invading Romans who decide to take it back to Julius Caesar, but their ship sinks en-route.

Almost 2,000 years later it is recovered 42 metres down at the bottom of the sea off the coast of the Greek island of Antikythera by a sponge diver called Elias Stadiatos.

It is at this point, if we are talking sci-fi, that the unsuspecting Elias was tracked down by a ruthless and reclusive megalomaniac who uses the centuries old computer to unravel the mysteries of time and space and become the ruler of the universe.

But, back on planet reality, the device has found its way to a group of academics from Cardiff University ( who have used the latest technology available to them to uncover the mysteries of the ancient Greeks’ computer.

Not quite as thrill-a-minute, perhaps, but an intriguing and absorbing story nonetheless (

One of the remaining mysteries is why the Greek technology invented for the Antikythera Mechanism machine seemed to disappear.

I think we should be thankful there are no megalomaniacs in positions of wealth or power out there to use such a device for the forces of evil…

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