Segments in this Video

Ancient Discovery (03:15)


Artifacts from ancient Greece are discovered by a team of divers. The most important discovery is the Antikythera mechanism.

Greek Treasures (01:46)

Researchers study coins from a shipwreck and conclude that the ship is Roman and the treasures are Ancient Greek.

Greek Treasures on a Roman Ship (02:52)

Why were Greek treasures on a Roman ship? Researchers take a closer look; they believe that it was a trade ship.

Previous Research (01:37)

In the 1950s, Derek de Solla Price began studying the Antikythera mechanism. He performed radiographs and found 27 gear-wheels inside the device.

Ancient Greek Technology (01:14)

Ancient Greece is believed to be the most creative culture in human history. Ancient Athens produced art and architecture that is revered to this day.

Ancient Clockwork (01:51)

Ancient Greece is the home of astronomy, which the Greeks considered a branch of mathematics. Researchers of the Antikythera device believe it was used to mechanize the movements of the sun, moon, and planets.

The Phases of the Moon (01:54)

In a 19-year cycle, the moon orbits the earth 254 times. The Antikythera device calculates the moon's movement around the earth.

Modern X-Ray Research (03:58)

The researchers of the Antikythera device need 3D images. An X-Ray company builds a prototype machine to do the job.

Digital Model (01:24)

Tony Freeth creates a digital model of the Antikythera device. He estimates that there were 50-60 gears in the complete mechanism.

Simple Engineering (04:18)

Michael Wright builds a model of the Antikythera device. He adds a complex planetarium to the front.

The Function of the Large Wheel (03:13)

The team uses a new technique to enhance the surface of the Antikythera device. They are able to decipher inscriptions not seen before.

Breakthrough in Research (03:51)

The team makes a big discovery and finds ancient research indicating that the Antikythera device was used for eclipse predictions.

Capabilities of the Device (03:44)

Further research reveals that the Antikythera device could predict a lunar or solar eclipse down to the hour. It could predict the direction that the shadow would cross and the color that it would be. A discussion on why the device would have been needed.

Tracking the Moon (02:33)

The Antikythera device plots the variable motion of the moon. It takes into account that the moon travels slower when it is farther away from the earth.

The 53-Toothed Gear (02:55)

Tony Freeth discovers how the Antikythera device predicts an eclipse every 9 years.

Who Made the Device? (03:40)

The team narrows down the Antikythera device origin location to Syracuse. They conclude that only Archimedes could have created it.

The Planetarium Model (02:18)

Further research indicates that the Antikythera mechanism would have had rotating planets on the front of the device. The researchers look at medieval pictures of the planets.

Preserving the Technology (01:45)

Evidence suggests that the Antikythera technology was sent to the Byzantine world and then to Arab scholars. It was re-introduced to Europe during the Renaissance.

Summary: World's First Computer (02:34)

The creation of the Antikythera device is comparable to today's modern laptop. An overview of how the device was discovered and the importance of its discovery.

Credits: World's First Computer (01:01)

Credits: World's First Computer

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

World's First Computer

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



In 1901, a group of divers excavating an ancient shipwreck near the island of Antikythera, off the southern coast of Greece, found a mysterious object. The 2,000-year-old object, no bigger than a modern laptop, is now regarded as the world’s oldest computer, devised to show the positions of the Sun, Moon and planets, as well as to predict eclipses and calculate the timing of the ancient Olympics. This fascinating film follows the efforts of an international team of scientists to uncover the secrets of the Antikythera Mechanism – using the latest advanced technologies to reveal surprising and awe-inspiring details about a mystifying and profoundly important object. A BBC Production.

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: EDP95235

ISBN: 978-1-68272-430-9

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.