Did the Ancient Greeks Have Clocks?

Andikithira is a Greek island about 25 miles from Crete. In 1900, divers discovered the wreck of an ancient ship near Andikithira.

On the ship were supplies of marble and pottery from the first century B.C. Also discovered in the wreck was a bronze object encrusted with age. This object eventually found its way to a storage room in a museum, where it was forgotten.

In 1955, a scientist decided to clean the old bronze object. When the crust was removed, the object turned out to be an instrument of some kind. It had a series of cogwheels that fit into one another. It’s thought that the device was an astronomical clock, but how it worked is unknown.

Such objects were never mentioned in ancient Greek or Roman writing. If it were not for the work of one curious scientist, we might never have known the “clock” existed.