Pingdom Home

US + international: +1-212-796-6890

SE + international: +46-21-480-0920

Business hours 3 am-11:30 am EST (Mon-Fri).

Do you know if your website is up right now? We do! LEARN MORE

Google Calendar, 2000 years ago

The ancient Greeks were so ahead of their time that sometimes you are truly humbled. Just look at the amazing calendar device called the Antikythera mechanism. (Video included further down.)

The Antikythera mechanism did several things:

  • It showed the position and movement of the sun, moon and planets.
  • It worked as a calendar.
  • It kept track of when the Olympic games and other events were being held.
  • It predicted solar eclipses.

It’s the world’s oldest known complex scientific calculator, and some have even gone as far as calling it a computer.

The amazing thing here is that although the device has been dated to around 100 BC, the complexity of the clockwork-like mechanism is comparable to watches made in the 18th century. It was 1800 years before its time.

Here is a video of a working model of a reconstructed Antikythera mechanism. The demonstration is just a couple of minutes long and is well worth the watch. It’s quite amazing.

Who knows where we would have been if the knowledge of ancient Greece hadn’t been lost for so long? A prominent example is their knowledge of mathematics, which was on a level which wouldn’t be rivaled until after the Renaissance. We lost more than a thousand years of scientific development.

Just imagine if we had invented the Internet hundreds of years ago. Where would we be today?

Video found via The Guardian. Image found at gotoknow.org.



2 comments
Rob Johnson
Rob Johnson

I love Google products. I use Google calendar to send myself an SMS each Wednesday night to remind me to put out the garbage and I use Gmail to back up my business emails. I have an forwarder on my hosting that forwards all incoming emails to a Gmail account and in Thunderbird I have it set to send a copy of all outgoing emails to the same account. I can't believe how often I use the Gmail search facility to find stuff I've lost, usually receipts and passwords.

Daniel Howard
Daniel Howard

Wow! Tip: That video is far more enjoyable in "high quality" . . . -danny