The mechanism was found on an ancient Roman merchant ship, wrecked just off a tiny island called Antikythera, between Crete and mainland Greece. The story of the discovery of the wreck in 1900, and the subsequent recovery of artifacts in 1901, is remarkable in its own right. This recovery is thought to constitute the first underwater archaeology to be ever undertaken and is hardly surprising that these events have been somewhat romanticised in subsequent accounts.
Further reading and documents:
- The Antikythera Shipwreck Reconsidered,
Weinberg, G. D., Grace V. R., Edwards G. R., Robinson H. S., Throckmorton P., and Ralph E. K.
, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Volume 55, Issue 3, p.46, (1965)
- The Cousteau Odyssey - Diving For Roman Plunder,
Cousteau, Jacques, and Solt Andrew