Relic computer reveals clues

The Antikythera Mechanism, an ancient computer that has mesmerized scientists since its discovery at the bottom of the sea more than 100 years ago, was probably widely used in what is modern-day northwestern Greece, scientists studying the mechanical device have said. The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project, which comprises experts from Britain, Greece and the USA, has detected various names on a bronze dial thought to display the 76-year Callippic cycle, suggesting the device was probably used to track the dates of the ancient games. «The mechanism worked out the dates of games’ opening ceremonies,» John Seiradakis, a professor at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki involved in the project, said. «Comparing the names in the calendars of 200 cities, it seems the names used by the mechanism match with that of Kerkyra, Dodoni and Vouthroto [Butrint in present-day Albania].» Experts will talk about the mechanism at the National Research Foundation in Athens on Wednesday.