The Two Thousand Year Old Computer

The Two Thousand Year Old Computer
Radio Times
Review by:
Geoff Ellis

Imagine craftsmen built a bronze machine, conceived by Archimedes more than 2,000 years ago, for looking into the future. The astonishing thing is, it exists, in an Athens museum. Three fragments of a corroded bronze mechanism were found on the seabed in 1900 and it was such a complex device that it has taken this long to figure out what it is.

In this breathtaking documentary, we join a team of mathematicians, historians and other experts trying to solve the puzzle and meet the eccentric British engineer who has built his own version of Archimedes’s astrolabe and lunar calendar. It’s an extraordinary story, superbly told.

About this programme

The efforts of an international team of scientists to solve the mysteries of the Antikythera Mechanism. The 2,000-year-old device was recovered from a Roman shipwreck off the southern coast of Greece in 1901, and is believed to be the world's oldest computer. The object appears to be designed to predict solar eclipses, and according to recent findings, calculate the timing of the ancient Olympics.

Cast and crew


Mike Beckham
Mike Beckham