Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fact or Myth: Ancient Egyptian Electricity

I've been studying this subject for a while this afternoon, and as much as I'd like to claim that the ancient Egyptians had electrical devices and/or advanced technology that involved electricity, I can't. I'm not saying that I don't believe that there was an advanced civilization(s) from long ago that once dwelled on this planet before ultimately destroying their selves or sunk like the story of Atlantis or perhaps left earth via advanced spaceships. None of that is important right now, as this subject is about if it's just a myth or an actual fact that the ancient Egyptians had electricity.

Anyway, I found a couple decent resources online that covered the primary possibilities and one of them had elaborate explanations why all of this is just a myth and was dreamed up by hopeful romantics, more or less. The first page/resource was obviously from a "believer" in ancient Egyptian electricity. Their page was called "Ancient Electricity - Top Ten Contenders." Out of their top 10, only a couple even remotely had a chance. Those were their sections that covered the "Baghdad Battery" and the "Electroplated Artifacts." This is not really the resource I'd recommend, but if you are interested in their views, you can go here: [Link is no longer valid]

This next resource is more elaborate and scientific. They cover the famous "no soot" concepts and the Baghdad battery impossibilities and much more. Oh, I almost forgot. One of the biggest subjects that this ancient electricity subject often spawns from, is the 'Dendera light' theory. The 'Dendera light' is a term used to describe a supposed ancient Egyptian electrical lighting technology depicted on three stone reliefs in the Hathor temple at the Dendera Temple complex located in Egypt. I also used it for the photo in this post. I've seen both sides of the interpretations from this depiction, and I'm yet to see how it represents ancient electricity. If you have followed many ancient carvings, drawings and hieroglyphics, you will know what I mean.

Now, back to the main subjects at hand. The Baghdad batteries just don't have enough juice, even if it was operational. The guy reconstructed one or more of these things and came to the conclusion that one 1 Watt bulb needs 40 of these ancient batteries per working day. Yeah, all for 1 watt! He also figured up that each worker would need a lamp with 10 workers per each site for 2 years and that it would equate to 292,000 batteries with a total weight of 584 tons! Then, if you factor in the 400 (or thereabouts) underground sites in Egypt, you would then need 116 million of these Baghdad batteries that would approximately weigh 233,600 freakin' tons! Think about all of the scrap iron and waste material that we would have to find nowadays, if they used those particular batteries to power light bulbs. Yikes! Anyway, just that mathematical reason alone, pretty much debunks the ancient battery notion, in my opinion.

Then you have the extremely popular "there was no soot" found deep inside some of these sites. Here's a quote from a famous material expert on this subject: "The absence of smoke-blackening in the tombs of the kings is also no difficult explanation. If olive-oil is used, there is very little smoke, and a suitable covering over the lamp, for which various methods readily suggest themselves, would very easily prevent carbon being deposited on the ceiling." In a thumbnail, even the author of that web page said: "There is soot, although the Egyptian lamps were almost sootless and even buildings in no need of artificial illumination contain soot. This whole argument is as wrong as an argument can be." Either way, this is by no means evidence for artificial lighting methods. If you'd like to read an elaborate, highly detailed version, go here: [This link is also no longer valid]

By what I've read in the past, most of the chambers and passages in the Egyptian pyramids were built in open ditches anyway. They constructed this stuff in broad daylight! However, you have the right to believe whatever you want to believe. When it comes to ancient Egyptian electricity, fact or myth, I'll let you decide; cheers!

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Source =

---End of Post "Fact or Myth: Ancient Egyptian Electricity"

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