This is according to Argentinian researchers who found that an eclipse prediction calendar – a dial on the back of the mechanism – includes a solar eclipse that happened on May 12, 205 B.C.
Previous radiocarbon dating analysis of the remarkable mechanism had provided a later construction date of around 100 to 150 BC.
The study, by the National University of Quilmes, suggests that the process in which the computer predicts eclipses is Babylonian arithmetic, rather Greek trigonometry.
This ancient device 'predates other known examples of similar technology by more than 1,000 years,' according to a report by John Markoff in the New York Times.
The highly complex mechanism, made up of up to 40 bronze cogs and gears, was used in ancient times to track the cycles of the solar system.