Bronze disk unearthed by archaeologists in same wreck where original 2,200-year-old computer had been found; also located bits of the ship that Jacques Cousteau and looters hadn't destroyed
More than 2,200 years after it sank beneath the waves, diving archaeologists have apparently found a missing piece of the Antikythera Mechanism, the fantastically complicated, advanced analog "computer" found in a shipwreck off a Greek island. Scanning shows the encrusted cogwheel to bear an image of Taurus the bull.
The Antikythera Mechanism was discovered in 1901, technically speaking. An encrusted lump was salvaged by Greek sponge divers in clunky metal diving suits from the Mediterranean seabed. Not that anybody realized what it was at the time. It would take decades and advanced x-ray technology for scientists to realize that the "rock" was a wondrously advanced sophisticated analog calculator consisting of dozens of intermeshed gears.
The Mechanism could do not only basic math: with dozens of exquisitely worked cogwheels, it could calculate the movements of the sun and moon, predict eclipses and equinoxes, and could be used to track the solar system planets, the constellations, and much more.
We may never know how many cogwheels the original Antikythera Mechanism had. Assessments based on its functions in predicting the behavior of the cosmos range from 37 to over 70. For comparison, the most advanced Swiss watches have four cogwheels.
As for the ship bearing the Mechanism, it had been a huge one, laden with precious cargo. Happily, even a century of looters and incautious explorers who combed the site since the ship's original discovery didn't find everything.