Confirmation of the invention as an electric cell came from
Dr. Arne Eggebrecht (left), an Egyptologist from Hildesheim in Germany and from
science historian, Willy Ley, working with of the General Electric High Voltage
Laboratory in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Ley constructed a duplicate model of
the artefact and discovered that when copper sulphate, acetic acid or citric
acid were added, the cells produced between 1.5 and 2 volts of electricity.
Generation of electric current by the same means was not achieved by our modern
civilisation until the early 19th century.
The Baghdad Battery was not a ‘one-off’ with four similar clay
pots containing copper cylinders being unearthed in a hut near Baghdad. In these
pots were thin iron and copper rods which may have been used to connect
themselves together to deliver a higher voltage. Ten other cells were also
uncovered at Ktesiphon by Professor E. Kuhnel of the Staatliches Museum in
Having established that early man knew of, and used
electricity, the strange engravings at different locations within the Late
Ptolemaic Temple of Hathor at Dendera in Egypt become easier to explain. In chamber seventeen of this temple, there is a panel that
appears to depict Egyptian priests ‘operating’ tube like devices.
Each tube has
something extending its full length inside. In the opinion of a classical
archaeologist, Dr. John Harris of Ashmolean Museum of Oxford University, there
is nothing out of the ordinary in this, and he believes the ‘something inside’
is an image of a serpent. He argues that the ‘snake-stones’ were set up on
either side of entrances to temples or rooms assigned for a snake cult.
However Swedish writer, Ivan Troëng, who knew little of
Egyptian lore, noted in his book ‘Kulturer Fore Istiden’ that "the
picture … obviously shows electric lamps held by high tension insulators". This
idea was explored further by a fellow Swede, engineer Henry Kjellson in his book
‘Disappeared Technology’ (Published as ‘Forvunen Teknik’). Kjellson noted that in the hieroglyphs, these ‘snakes’ are translated as
‘seref’, which means to glow. Kjellson therefore concluded that there is some
form of electrical current involved in the apparatus depicted. In the scene, to
the extreme right there is a box on top of which is sitting an image of the
Egyptian god Atum-Ra, which identifies the box as the energy source.
Attached to the box is a braided cable which
electromagnetics engineer Alfred D. Bielek identified as a copy of engineering
illustrations used today for representing a bundle of conducting electrical
wires. The cable runs from the box, the full
length of the floor of the picture and ends at the bases of the tube objects.
These objects each rest on a pillar called a ‘djed, which Bielek believes
to be a high voltage insulator. Although some scenes in the
upper chambers of the temple have been damaged by vandals, other pictures found
in a lower crypt are almost perfectly preserved and further add to the puzzle.
In one image, not
only are the tubes shown in full operation, but something has been added which
may provide a clue to what the tubes were actually for. In several instances,
both men and women are shown sitting underneath the tubes, hands held out and
cupped, suggesting a receptive mode (below). It has been suggested that they were
engaged in radiation treatment. Unfortunately, Bielek,
himself is open to greater skepticism, having made, over the years a number of
outlandish claims regarding time travel etc that question his authority however,
despite these concerns, the images are certainly open to this
As bizarre as this sounds there is supporting evidence in
historical scripts for the need for such treatment. The Mausola Parva or
Mahabharata, an ancient Indian sacred writing, refers to a thunderbolt ‘a
gigantic messenger of death’ which reduced whole armies to death and caused the
hair and nails of survivors to fall out. Pottery broke without cause and birds
turned white. Later foodstuffs became poisoned.
The Drona Parva, another ancient Indian text, notes "A
blazing missile possessed of the radiance of smokeless fire was discharged. A
thick gloom suddenly encompassed the heavens. Clouds roared into the higher air,
showering blood. The world, scorched by the heat of that weapon, seemed to be in
fever." Another passage of the text compares the detonation with a flare of ten
thousand suns (9).
Of course this may simply be an account which to modern ears
sounds remarkably like atomic fall-out but isn’t, yet there is residual
supporting physical evidence. For example the surface of the Gobi Desert near
Lob Nor lake is covered with vitreous sand - the result of China’s atomic
testing - but the desert had other areas of glassy sand which have been present
for many thousands of years.