#271 The Antikythera Mechanism

2nd Century B.C.

The Antikythera Mechanism

Front view of the Antikythera Mechanism.
The oldest extant complex geared device was recovered from a first-century B.C. shipwreck off Point Glyphadia on the Greek Island of Antikythera over a century ago. Initially dismissed as a more modern device from a modern wreck, the Antikythera Mechanism would eventually be identified by scientists as the world’s first computer.

(L-R) Maria Logogianni, director, National Archaeological Museum, Herman Viegas, chair, Lee Langston, secretary, History & Heritage Committee, Anestis Kalfas, landmark nominator, and ASME President Richard Laudenat pose with commemorative plaque following ceremony.
Essentially an analog system with an astronomical and calendrical device, scientists have assessed that it was used to predict lunar and solar eclipses, maintain calendar accuracy and to predict the dates of the Panhellenic Games.

ASME President Richard Laudenat unveils the commemorative plaque with Maria Logogianni, director, National Archaeological Museum.
The Mechanism consisted of at least 30 gear wheels with teeth, dials, axles and pointer made of copper, thin and lead. Its small scale and use of pin-and-slot couplings revealed that Greek mechanicians of the second century B.C. were more proficient in the design of geared devices that previously suggested.


Landmark Location

National Archeological Museum
Patision 44
Athens, Greece 10682
+30 21 3214 4800

Visiting Info

Martin Y. Tang Welcome Center
616 Thurston Avenue
Ithaca, NY  14853
(607) 254-4636

Ceremony Date:

June 26, 2019. Plaque presented by ASME President Richard Laudenat


Download pdf

You are now leaving ASME.org