From News Daily:
A mechanical brass calculator used by the ancient Greeks to predict solar and lunar eclipses was probably also used to set the dates for the first Olympic games, researchers said on WednesdayMore on the Antikythera Mechanism in a previous post. It's historical, it's geeky, of course I blogged about it!
Using three-dimensional, X-ray technology, researchers deciphered tiny inscriptions buried inside the device's fragmented brass pieces that pointed to its Olympic role.
The name "Nemea" was found near a small dial on the mechanism, a reference to the site of one of the prominent games in the Olympiad cycle, the researchers said. Locations such as Olympia also appeared.
"It really surprised us to discover that it also showed the four-year cycle of ancient Greek games, including the Olympic Games," said Tony Freeth, a researcher at the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project who worked on the study.
The ancient Olympics were first recorded in 776 BC and continued until they were banned by the Christian Roman emperor Theodosius I around 394 AD.