The X-rays of the bronze disc, and artist's reconstruction of the bull. (Image: Left EUA, Right Alexander Tourtas.

Mysterious Bronze Disc Found at 2,000-year-old Antikythera Shipwreck Resembles Ancient ‘Computer’

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By Tara MacIsaac , Epoch Times

More than a century ago, a device now known as the Antikythera mechanism was found near a Roman shipwreck dating from the 1st century BC. It could calculate astronomical changes with precision. It has baffled archaeologists with its sophistication, far beyond anything expected from so long ago.

The Antikythera Mechanism is a 2000-year-old mechanical device used to calculate the positions of the sun, moon, planets, and even the dates of the ancient Olympic Games.

The Antikythera Mechanism is a 2000-year-old mechanical device used to calculate the positions of the sun, moon, planets, and even the dates of the ancient Olympic Games. ( CC BY 2.5 )

Marine archaeologists are now further exploring the wreck, off the Greek island of Antikythera in the Aegean Sea, and bringing up exciting artifacts. On Oct. 4, they announced the discovery of a bronze disc shaped like the Antikythera mechanism.

Hoping it might be part of the ancient “computer,” they examined it via x-ray. Instead of the hoped-for gears, however, under the hardened layer of sediment they found the likeness of a bull. The team will examine it in more detail in the weeks to come. It seems it was a decorative element.

An x-ray image of a bronze disc found at the Antikythera ship wreck.

An x-ray image of a bronze disc found at the Antikythera ship wreck.
(Screenshot/
YouTube/2017 Return to Antikythera Expedition )

Archaeologists Found Unique Statues They Also Found Human Remains

Other significant finds include parts of bronze statues. Bronze statues from the ancient world are rare, and most have been altered over the years. Studying these unaltered statues may yield great insights into the ancient culture that produced them.

Archaeologists may learn more about casting methods and the techniques of sculpting, but also about the social contexts that created the statues if they are able to identify whom the statues depict.

The arm of a bronze statue found at the Antikythera shipwreck site. (Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports)The arm of a bronze statue found at the Antikythera shipwreck site.

The arm of a bronze statue found at the Antikythera shipwreck site. (Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports)The arm of a bronze statue found at the Antikythera shipwreck site. (Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports)

They Also Found Human Remains

Last year, human remains were found at the site. Regarding DNA analysis of the remains, marine archaeologist Brendan Foley with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Insitution  said in a press release: “Archaeologists study the human past through the objects our ancestors created. … With the Antikythera shipwreck, we can now connect directly with this person who sailed and died aboard the Antikythera ship.”

Excavations in 2016 at the Antikythera Shipwreck produced a nearly intact skull, including the cranial parietal bones.

Excavations in 2016 at the Antikythera Shipwreck produced a nearly intact skull, including the cranial parietal bones. (Brett Seymour, EUA/WHOI/ARGO)

Top image: The X-rays of the bronze disc, and artist's reconstruction of the bull. (Image: Left EUA, Right Alexander Tourtas.

The article ‘ Mysterious bronze disc found at 2,000-year-old Antikythera shipwreck resembles ancient ‘computer’ was originally published on The Epoch Times and has been republished with permission.

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