Here’s an interesting little article about a classical Greek computing device that was discovered around 1900:
At the beginning of the 20th century, historians were shocked to learn that Greek thinkers had built a rather sophisticated analog computer in the neighborhood of 82 B.C. and then, astonishingly, left no record of its existence.
I’ve always been fascinated with knowledge that has been made and then lost for centuries. I remember seeing a great documentary by Nova on the history of the Archimedes Palimpsest in which he toys around with many of the concepts of integral calculus some 2000 years before Newton and Leibniz. Ah, it just breaks your heart to think of the knowledge lost of the numerous fires of the ancient libraries.