Talk:Baghdad Battery

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Persian or Iraqian?[edit]

Thats true this ancient battery Explored in iraq but in the Sassanid priod iraq was the part of Persian Empire. so It is clear that Article Should set in the Persian's Subcategory as Persian science. Unfortunately, like this mistakes, are Numerous. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:41, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

It was more than explored. There were real ornate batteries in the Museums of this Country. I understand you associate it with a culture, but the Amount of things that have come out of Iraq (Babylon, Mesopotamia, Persia) is too many to keep scattering to the wind under different names.

Baghdad (The House of Wisdom) is home to the invention of Decimal & Zero(India is being given credit because of a Latin Algebra translation), Calculus(no credit), Algebra(credit) and Electricity 912AD(Arab museum article online), before France in 1733AD. They had a Arabic Leyden Jar in the museum in Baghdad. The First Capacitor or Battery in the entire world from the 900AD/CE.

Mensa level Free & Accepted Masons are the only people who benefited from the destruction. And just as they claim, no one can prove it.



Electric Battery:

The CIA purposely engineered the destruction of this country. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:47, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Algebra, numbers, and the CIA have nothing to do with the subject of this article, however true (or ridiculous) your claims might be. As for the Arab battery, the only source you seem to be offering is the Wikipedia article on Baghdad battery, the very article you are complaining about. Please read Wikipedia:Reliable sources, then go out and find some, then come back here and tell us what they say. Failing that you are likely to be pretty much ignored. SpinningSpark 15:04, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Discussion of Anachronism[edit]

I've moved out of the article the sentence

Some regard the Baghdad Battery as an anachronism, in the sense that the Baghdad Battery appears to be out of place in time.

I think everything after the comma is intended to define the term, not add to the meaning, but in any case, why are there disagreements about its anachronicity? Do those who so regard it think it is proof of a fraud? Of a time machine? Of extra-terrestrial technology? The writer of that sentence has something unstated in mind, but we need to know what, in order to use it. --Jerzy 07:33, 2003 Dec 9 (UTC)

[after the comma] ... it does help define the term, adding meaning (one less click)...
"Why are there disagreements about its anachronicity"? because many experts think that ancient people did not have electrical power ... they did though (primative though) ... the anachronicity is contested becuase of this ...
"Do those who so regard it think it is proof of a fraud"? fraud? yes (by many "skeptics") ... because it is a artifact that helps extend the idea that ancient people use electrical power ... most "standard" timelines don't have ancient people using power back then ...
"Of a time machine"? umm no (not IMO)...
"Of extra-terrestrial technology"? umm no (not IMO)...
"writer of that sentence has something unstated in mind"? what would that be? The line isn't part of any "agenda" other than stating facts ... imparticular that _ancient civilizations had electrical power_? that could be it ...
"need to know"? there you go ...
Sincerely, JDR
The ancient civilizations didn't have electric power per se, they had a device which happened to work because of electromotive force. There is a significant difference between the two. Even the greatest minds of the day didn't understand the electrical principles at work in the device, because the principles of how the device work weren't carried over into other areas of technology.
A better sentence might be:
Some people mistakenly regard the Baghdad Battery as an anachronism, believing that because ancient civilizations don't have electrical power, they therefore wouldn't have any device which operated on the principles of electric power.
This says clearly that it isn't an anachronism (and people who don't know what it is can click... that's what the link is for) and then goes on to further explain why it isn't an anachronism.
-- UtherSRG 16:39, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
"The ancient civilizations didn't have electric power per se"? no .. they did have electric power ... (not a modern power system developed by Tesla, but the had primative power sources (whatever they called it may have been different ... it's the same principles) per se they didn't ... but really they did).
"they had a device which happened to work because of electromotive force" ... yes they did ....
"There is a significant difference between the two." ... no that's incorrect ...
"Even the greatest minds of the day didn't understand the electrical principles at work in the device" ... probably so (@least to our mathematicaly understanding )... but the principles are the SAME! ... if they constructed it, they had power (ie., would have had the energy) ... they would have observed the phenonomena ...
"the principles of how the device work weren't carried over into other areas of technology"? it's been proposed (from various artifacts and records) that it was used for various things .... one, lighting [primative cathrod ray tubes], and, two, electroplating ....
Another sentence? ok ... i think the removal of the "mistakenly" would be good though ... it is a bit confusing though ... because some do believe it is an anachronism (because of the belief that ancient civiliazation did not have power sources)
Your proposed sentences implies that it isn't an anachronism, which it is (i.e., not fitting in with classical view of history).
"people [..] can click", though it's not a big deal to put a bit of info here (this isn't paper) ... a more further explain and indepth treatment can go into the main article, that's what the link is for).
"why it isn't an anachronism"? but it is view by many as it is a anachronism. Are you trying to say that it isn't and shouldn't be treated as such? as most ppl (from my experiences) don't believe ancient civilization had power sources ...
Sincerely, JDR
After re-reading anachronism, I'm good with replacing the existing sentence with mine minus 'mistakenly'.
Re your line with if they constructed it, they had power: I disagree. Just because they constructed it, didn't mean they understood. But in this case...
CRTs? Cool! Write an article on it? :) - UtherSRG 17:53, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Did "they understand" it? They probably didn't understand it in the way most electrical engineers understand it (nor how ppl today see power) ... but they probably understood it in context to thier world (and called it a name in term of thier worldview) ... they did, in all likelyhood, understand that it could be used ...
CRTs? yea .... real primative ... I'm pretty sure you've seen it on cammericals (I've had a few time) ... it egyptian (a diagram is on the wall) ... and a reconstruction show that [if powered, by means such as a baghdad battery (among other sources)) it could have "lit" up ... I'm not sure what the name of it is though ...
BTW, I tried to merge in the suggestions ...
Sincerely, JDR

Dating, picture[edit]

Was the original discovery simply a reported event, or is there an actual artifact?

There is an actual artefact. In fact, about a dozen of them.

Has it been dated? How?

No. The date is pure speculation. No components of the devices are amenable to dating, and - according to Dr St John Simpson of the Near Eastern department of the British Museum - their context was not properly recorded. König thought they were Parthian because the village in which they were said to have been found was Parthian; the Parthian culture disappeared around the mid-3rd century AD. However the style of the pottery is Sassanian (224-640 AD). Given the relatively mild degree of corrosion of the iron rods (despite being the anode of electochemical couple!), one would think that latest possible plausible date would be the one to plump for, but oddly enough everyone goes for the earliest possible date that is vaguely supportable. Securiger 10:02, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Can we get a diagram for wikipedia? There are a lot of examples online to draw from. - Omegatron 15:52, Jun 8, 2004 (UTC)


I have some real problems with this article, but rather than just being bold I thought I'd discuss them here first, since I'm sure some people will want to argue about it.

  • The article continually refers to "it". There were about a dozen of them found, not just one. (This may weakly support the view that they may have been galvanic cells, since replicas go flat very quickly.)
  • From the article: ...with a structure similar to that of a modern battery. This is a minor point, but we should point out that despite the name, they resemble a galvanic cell, not batteries (i.e. multiple cells joined together in series or parallel by paired conductors). This does become somewhat significant when you examine the plausibility of them having been used for electroplating.
  • From the article: It also appears that similar batteries can be located around ancient Egypt, where objects with traces of precious metal electroplating have been discovered at different locations. References, please. I can only find this claimed by unreferenced pseudo-archaeological sources which generally go on to claim that the Ancient Egyptians had electric lighting (with a 25 milliwatt maximum power output from these cells, and weighing a couple of kilos each, that is plain ridiculous). I am rather skeptical of this claim and unless a reference is found I will remove it.
  • From the article: In 1938, the German archaeologist Wilhelm König reportedly excavated the 130 mm (~5 inch) long clay jar in Khujut Rabu. While commonly stated, according to Dr St John Simpson of the Near Eastern department of the British Museum this is not true. König - who was an artist, not an archaeologist - merely wrote a paper speculating on the purpose of the devices after examining them in the museum while he was curator. In fact their original excavation appears not to have been recorded at all, or else the records have been lost.
  • From the article: Such ancient knowledge in the history of electricity ... What knowledge?
  • From the article: Subsequent tests found acidic residues in the original, analysed as an electrolytic solution, perhaps vinegar or wine.. What does this mean exactly? The "analysed as an electrolytic solution" doesn't make sense, I suppose it was meant to say something like "presumed to have been used as an electrolytic solution"? The reference to acid is a red herring; an electrolyte does not need to be acidic (although it may be), and as the acidic component of vinegar is volatile it could not possibly still be detected.
  • A fine example of Wikipedia at its schizophrenic best: and suggested electroplating precious metals as a practical use for early batteries by Baghdad Parthians, who used it to electroplate metallic items.. The same concept mentioned twice in one sentence, once as a speculation, once as a stated fact!!
  • I do not believe the electroplating theory is terribly well regarded today, even by those who accept that the devices are in fact galvanic cells. First and worst, there are no electroplated objects from Iraq for the entire period of interest; all such plated objects were plated with known techniques (either beating or mercury gilding). Some sources routinely quote König's 1938 claim that such objects existed, but König (who was not an archaeologist) was wrong. Secondly, it is easily demonstrated that these cells are far too feeble to be particularly useful for this purpose. Dr Arne Eggebrecht claimed to have achieved just a one micron thick layer of silver using a battery of "many" Baghdad cell replicas. However other scientists attempting to replicate the experiment say that his results were exaggerated and they could not even achieve that much. Such experiments also fall on the fact that no batteries or wires have been found, so we can really only justify a single cell, which is very feeble indeed. Further the village where the devices were found was not a metalworking site. The currently (sorry) preferred theory among those who accept that the devices are galvanic cells, is that some priest or healer discovered that he felt a tingle whilst stirring a vinegar-based potion in a copper bowl with an iron spatula, and exploited the idea to amaze people with mysterious electric tingles (too weak for real shocks). Paul Keyser has also suggested electro-acupuncture.
  • The article completely fails to mention that there is a substantial school of thought which doubts the whole idea. They have some fairly strong arguments:
    • Simple experiments demonstrate that the devices can be used as (very feeble) galvanic cells. It is a very long bow from there to claim that they actually were so used. For example, Thor Heyerdahl demonstrated that it was possible in principle for the Ancient Egyptians to sail to the Americas. But very few people believe they did so, because there is no evidence of Egyptian cultural influence in the Americas. Similarly, while the "Baghdad batteries" could in principle generate electricity, we would need to see some results of that before believeing that they actually did so. There are none; König's electroplated vessels were really misinterpreted mercury gilded vessels, and there is nothing else at all. No-one ever even wrote about it, and the process for which the current was used, if any, died out without a trace. Given that we actually have a great deal of information about what the Sassanids got up to, this is more than slightly odd.
    • As originally analysed by König, the copper cylinder is completely covered by the asphalt, preventing electrical contact to it, and thus making it useless as a battery. Diagrams of reconstructions invariably show a wire poking through the asphalt and contacting the cylinder, but it is important to note that none of the devices were found with such a wire, nor had a hole for it.
    • These objects very strongly resemble another type of object with a known purpose - namely, storage vessels for sacred scrolls from nearby Seleucia. Those vessels do not have the outermost clay jar, but are otherwise almost identical. Since it is claimed these vessels were exposed to the elements, it would not be at all surprising if any papyrus or parchment inside had completely rotted away, perhaps leaving a trace of slightly acidic organic residue.... 10:02, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Beautiful summary. Unfortunately, people love to believe unlikely and unsupported ideas. I guess it's part of human nature. David spector (talk) 03:34, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Copyright vio?[edit]

I have a copy of the G. Eggert sources ... and seem that someone lifted alot from that ...

Well, I used that as the basis for some of my research—and clearly credited him in the references section, for that very reason. However that doesn't constitute a copyvio unless I copied his exact words to a degree not permitted by fair use. I did not, in fact, copy his words at all, so there is no problem.
BTW, I am mostly quite happy with your recent edits, but the section "Comparisons" seems to rather miss the point. Yes, it's true voltaic piles were built much larger than "Baghdad batteries". The point is that Volta's rudimentary/nascent understanding of electrical theory enabled him to design such devices. The facts that stacking extra plates on a voltaic pile increases the voltage, and using wider plates gives a larger current is obvious to us today, brought up in an electrical world; but it took Volta to realise it, and when he did the science of electricity was born. Whoever made the Baghdad batteries, assuming they were in fact galvanic cells, evidently did not understand those principles, hence this is an argument against claims they developed an electrical theory. -- Securiger 19:07, 11 May 2005 (UTC)


If ever I saw an article dying for a pic, this is it. Draw one if you have to.

I've been looking for one for some time, both on-line and off-line. Problem is, the overwhelming majority that I have found are either modern "reproductions" or artist's impressions. In both cases they are based on the same verbal description we already have here, and clearly strongly contaminated by what the artists "think an ancient battery should look like". I have found just one (widely reproduced) photograph that purports to be a picture of an actual artefact, photographed in the Baghdad museum, but have been unable to verify if the picture is genuine. In any case, that picture is of a dismantled object, so showing how it was assembled would be more speculation. Given the large volume of misinformation spread about the topic, I'd far prefer we went without a picture rather than adding yet another probably inaccurate one. But if anyone can find a properly authenticated image, go for it! -- Securiger 05:12, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

is the license on this correct? I think not ... that is why it's moved here. J. D. Redding 17:06, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Missing NPOV[edit]


I strongly feel that the article requires a Neutral Point of View amongst too many speculations and myths.
Further citations and assessment are suggested too.

Harshal 16:35, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree. David spector (talk) 03:37, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Clean up this "skeptic" section[edit]

Clean up text and reinstert afterwards ...

The archaeologist König did not show what material might have joined the "batteries", and that among the thousands of archaeological objects found in Mesopotamia there was no metallic object transmitter of electrical current (as a wire of iron) long enough to link several of these "cells". König argued that the aim of these batteries was to provide the electricity needed to make galvanization with gold and silver (though so far not found any objects old galvanized). For Gray König there was nothing easier than to state that these containers were batteries. However, the hypothesis of the batteries is unsustainable: not found remains, even traces of any electrolyte within the cylinder of copper. If these containers were used as sources of tension, should have contained some electrolyte, which, although it had happened a long time ago, they would have been able to detect at present. Furthermore, the wire was found necessary to use the batteries.
The fact that by adding copper sulfate as electrolyte has created a potential difference of 1.5 V, does not necessarily mean they were used as batteries. The pile of Baghdad could have generated a maximum of 10 mA. Then to deposit 10 grams of gold theoretically would be required almost 6 days of continuous work (and 10 days to deposit 10 grams of silver). In practice this time can be doubled or trebled. If you add wine, vinegar or other acid, iron rod would disintegrate in a little over 1 year. But these rods have arrived until today, clearly shows that this was not utilized galvanic couples. Those who believe that this device was indeed a battery electric, described as oopart (acronym in English of out of place artifact: artifact misplaced). Skeptics on the other hand think that the pitcher only served to save scrolls and cosmetics.

J. D. Redding 15:10, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I've found the Eggert article, added a link, that should be useful but I don't have time right now.--Doug Weller (talk) 16:17, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I been working on this page a long time ... 3 edit from the beginning ...

I have alot of the articles onthis. Most of them are broken records on the subject.

... as to ....

... This is one of the better page without a full biased "skeptic" position. Skepticism is a POV. Please do not remove other sources and only load up on "septic" sources. Thanks. J. D. Redding 16:24, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

A 'better page'? It fails under WP:RELIABLE WP:VERIFY and Wikipedia:No original research. The only thing new in this is:

And here comes some examples who has been taken from a technical publication named Shilpa-Sansar. Here a man with name Shri Parashuram Hari Thatte say following words about the electricity:'After that have placed a pert of pure copper in a vase of clay with a wide opening, there been put some coppervitriol on top of it. On top of that there been put a layer of sawdust and over that a block of zinc who was greased with quicksilver. Throw this assembling there come electricity who called Mitra. Even light cud be receive by this arrangement. A battery of one hundred pots was very effective' These Thatte, told that a method to gild or to silver surface of copper was made by electroplating. He also told that Agastyra invent these method and therefor received the title Kumbhadhava, who means ”the battery born” or Maitravaruna who means ”son of electricity”. Thatte was mean that this knowledge come from the time of Rama, 5000 years b.c.!

Even given a translation problem, this looks like nonsense - I can't find the 'technical publication', the 'man', Kumbdhadhava, and although I can find that Maitravaruna refers to a priest, that translation doesn't seem to exist. I've removed it twice and John Redding keeps replacing it and apparently didn't want to discuss it. The article itself is clearly unreferenced Original Research by Swedish UFO writer Anders Persson. John, would you please either justify this or remove it? Saying it is a 'better page' isn't enough and you are well aware of Wikipedia policies on this and from your Talk Page you just as clearly don't agree with them. But your POV on that doesn't matter. It's up to you to provide sources that represent your POV that meet Wikipedia standards, not me.--Doug Weller (talk) 16:40, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

John Redding? Who is that? This is J. D. Redding.

... Please do not remove the link. Itis of paranormal interest. The paranormal project can help you undersand this.

Do NOT push your POV. Thanks. J. D. Redding 16:46, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't know why I wrote John. However, I am not pushing my POV, and the fact that it is of paranormal interest (even though the bit about the Baghdad battery doesn't mention the paranormal), doesn't matter. You aren't abler to and aren't even trying to justify its inclusion with anything specific about the article or Wikipedia policy. All you are doing is attacking me.--Doug Weller (talk) 17:45, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

The website is not a reliable source, this cannot be used as a citation in the article. Tim Vickers (talk) 18:02, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Reddi, I do not know what bee you have in your bonnet regarding "skeptics". However, this is Wikipedia. We have rules. If you establish notability for your material you may insist on inclusion. If you cannot do that, you have no case. The website may be pertinent to topics of Ufology (I wouldn't know), but it is certainly completely irrelevant (WP:UNDUE) to topics of the Ancient Near East Late Antiquity. Thanks, dab (𒁳) 17:01, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Leyden jar comparison[edit]

The article is currently saying:

If correct, the artifacts would constitute a precedent to the Leyden jar...

A Leyden jar is a capacitor, its capacitance provided by an insulating layer of glass between conducting foils. If it were indeed a battery, the Baghdad Battery was just that, a battery, (strictly, an electrochemical cell). Was this what was intended by the article? — BillC talk 22:04, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't think you understand. A battery and a capacitor are the same thing. Also the image on this article is aweful. I've seen a museum photo of a beautiful leyden jar in Iraq from the 900's AD/CE. This object dug from the earth will easily be dismissed as a clay pot and metal rod. There were glass insulated jars in Iraq, which I hope were not destroyed by the US invasion of Iraq. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:00, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Capacitors are not batteries, there are significant differences between the two. Second of all it is an electrochemical cell. Common batteries are groups of cellsQwed117 (talk) 21:09, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Removed reference[edit]

This was used in the article and was removed ....

... as the case with most pseudoskeptics, anything associated with the ufology has been removed ... even though this page has nothing to do with that is is solely focused on the topic at hand. J. D. Redding 12:58, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

And your argument for including it seems to be a combination of insult and that you like it. The website doesn't meet Wikipedia standards, the article is original research gibberish with no references and citing people who don't seem to exist. I said that when I removed it. Even if it hadn't been on a UFO website it would still fail to meet WP:RS guidlines. It looks to me as though you are posting just to have a go at an editor you don't like rather than make an argument for its inclusion. If the material is genuine, find it in something that does meet guidelines. I couldn't find some of it anywhere.Doug Weller (talk) 13:41, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

No .. this was used in making the article. As the case with some wikipedia activity, material that is used for an article's construction is removed.

Sad really ... as this was a decent web article on the subject.

Just becasue someone on wikipedia doesn't have access to a source it's removed ... lowest common denominator, which isn't good for keeping track of what is used for an article ... why have references when they are removed [btw, don't need to answer ... this isn't the first article this has happened to ... just the fate of some article because of ignorance and stupidity of some editors] ... J. D. Redding 13:56, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

More insults. You've got no source. I at least have checked JSTOR, etc, trying to find one. You've got no reason to think he didn't make it up, and that isn't good enough. Just because someone can write an article on the web doesn't mean they can be used as a source. Ok, you don't seem to care about Wikipedia policies and guidelines (which also call for editors to avoid personal insult, by the way), but others do. As I read a few minutes ago on another page, with 2.3 million articles Wikipedia needs more quality now, not quantity. IF there is anything in the article you'd seriously like a reference for I can probably provide it.--Doug Weller (talk) 14:09, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Ha ... yah .. it's all made up ... that's kinda funny ...
You seem to be rather new at wikipeida ... I been editing here for quite awhile (four or five years) ...
I also did not refer to any specific editor, get a grip ... you are addressing me personally. My comments are in general.
Again, material that is used for article construction is removed.
Ignore all rules. Period. J. D. Redding 14:18, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Ah, I see that you did what looks like the 3rd edit on the article. You've obviously worked hard at it, good for you (really). But that doesn't give you the right to insult people you don't agree with or to feel as possessive as you obviously do about the article. See WP:OWNERSHIP "

Some contributors feel very possessive about material (be it categories, templates, articles, images, essays, or portals) that they have contributed to this project. Some go so far as to defend them against all others. It is one thing to take an interest in an article that you maintain on your watchlist. Maybe you really are an expert or you just care about the topic. But if this watchfulness starts to become possessiveness, then you may be overdoing it. Believing that an article has an owner of this sort is a common mistake people make on Wikipedia. You cannot stop everyone in the world from editing "your" stuff, once you have posted it to Wikipedia. As each edit page clearly states: * If you don't want your material to be edited mercilessly or redistributed for profit by others, do not submit it.

As I said, if you feel that be removing that I've left something without a reference, let me know what it is and I will see what I can do.Doug Weller (talk) 14:15, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Please don't lecture me on "ownership" ... that is used by many that don't have valid points many times ... J. D. Redding 14:26, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Possible copyvio[edit]

The text of the section Speculations on function#Nonelectrical is pretty much verbatim identical to the Non-Electrical Theory section of this source. That article is undated, but links back to this article; that article's author was clearly aware of some version of this page. They do, however, assert copyright, and several other articles in the same section do not exhibit the same pattern of matching (present) Wikipedia text. Can someone confirm which text is original? - Eldereft ~(s)talk~ 16:32, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Never mind, the text here is definitely original. - Eldereft ~(s)talk~ 16:50, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
I noticed that that site's Atlantis article looks the same as ours, I think he's copied some stuff from Wikipedia, I agree it isn't an issue here.Doug Weller (talk) 19:02, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Think backwards. Think upside-down.[edit]

If you had the best possible primitive electrolyte, how much lightning could you catch in one of those jars if it were electrically isolated from earth?

Dfruzzetti (talk) 04:37, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Hi Dfruzetti, can I please point out that this is not a page to discuss the artefacts but to discuss how to improve the article. If you have a good source for the issue you raise that discusses the artefacts, then please bring it here, but we shouldn't use the page as a webforum. I'll add something at the top of the page making this clear. Thanks. dougweller (talk) 09:54, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the reminder. The information I suggested comes from a somewhat disillusioned archaeological researcher via face-to-face conversation. I don't know whether she has any justification for this, but I will encourage her to hop on here and discuss this information on her own credentials. It is absolutely NOT my field of expertise, which is why I didn't say anything else. Dfruzzetti (talk) 18:21, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

"Controversial stone reliefs"?[edit]

There is no controversy over the so-called 'Dendera lightbulb'. There is Egyptian archaeology, and there are fringe lunatics. (talk) 11:30, 14 October 2009 (UTC)Djehutymes


I was watching this stupid History Channel show referenced on the wiki that says this was given to America by aliens. I mean, this is just dumb. Should we remove this from the wiki? I don't like it —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:36, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

No. Keresaspa (talk) 00:24, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Hellenistics known electrical phenomenon empirically[edit]

The Hellenistics known electrical phenomenon empirically, I remember that Thales of Miletus discovered that amber, which in greek is called Elektron, when rubbed with a woolen cloth acquires the characteristic and ability to attract light bodies such as small pieces of straw. Substantially Thales describes the principle of a primitive and natural Electrostatic generator that use the friction in the generation process. In Theophrastus of Eresus it found mention of other materials with the same capabilities. Games or jokes that used empirically the electric phenomenons are compatible with their knowledge. I remember the Electrophorus invented by Volta (game for students) use the amber and wool. The same two materials indicated by Thales. However magnetism and electricity for Hellenistics was the same thing.

--Andriolo (talk) 22:52, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, but this is inappropriate here as this is not a forum to discuss electrical phenomena or indeed the subject of the article, but to discuss the article in relation to sources that discuss these artefacts, the formatting of the article, graphics, whatever but not a general forum style discussion. Dougweller (talk) 06:42, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

How common are they ?[edit]

I looked into this article for info on how common they are. If anyone knows I think it would improve the article. Are they as common as household items such as hammers, saws, knives. Surely they are not as common as common pottery. Are they commonly found in ancient garbage dumping grounds? Are they as rare as temple artifacts or tomb artifacts? I suspect if it was a common houshold item it may have been used as a common fire starter. Some fine lead or copper scrappings mixed with kindling touched with electricity would start a fire. It would explain why the thing the electricity was used for didn't survive. It was burned.

So far as I can see, Konig just found one of these 1n 1936. He later "noted parallel finds from Seleucia: bronze cylinders with papyrus relics inside; and from Ctesiphon: rolled bronze sheets." I've seen figures for a dozen or more, but it's hard to find a definitive statement. And the arguments that they were for magical use are pretty good. Dougweller (talk) 11:10, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Elizabeth Stone source[edit]

I really don't think we can accept the Elizabeth Stone source as reliable. Sure she is an archeologist specialising in Iraq, but the source is a radio interview in which she makes an off-the-cuff unprepared remark to a phone-in questioner. This is hardly peer-reviewed stuff, it is not reviewed at all, even by Stone. This was not a prepared and reasoned answer, as is clear from some of Stone's own comments such as "I am trying to remember..." and " recollection of it was..." which indicate that she is far from familiar with this object. It is also not true that she was clear about "modern archaeologists do not believe the object was a battery", the closest her answer got to that was "I don't know anybody who thinks its a real battery in the field" which is the kind hearsay evidence we would not normally give the time of day on Wikipedia. While it may well not be a mainstream view, there have clearly been some scholars who do subscribe to this theory (see the source I added to the article). Perhaps Stone has written something in a reliable source on this which would make a better citation? SpinningSpark 20:26, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

She's an expert on the archaeology of the area. Why shouldn't we report what she said? Of course it wasn't prepared answer. I'm happy to have her quoted exactly, but I don't think we should remove a recent comment by an archaeologist who knows Iraq. I'm dubious about Haughton by the way. Dougweller (talk) 22:03, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
I think I have already explained why we should not report this. Stone may well be an expert on Iraq, but she cannot possibly know everything about every aspect of Iraq. Her answers in the interview where not given with any confidence or authority, she seemed to be struggling to remember anything about the object. She has not studied it, written anything about it, and she is not an expert on it; what she had to say was second-hand regurgitation of what she half-remembered other people had said about it. I think even a quote from a blog would be more acceptable; at least she would have had a chance to consider her views and reread source material before writing it. If what she says is correct there will be reliable scholarly papers that echo that view and that is what we should cite to. However, anything I have ever read about this object has been much more circumspect.
I am not sure what your objection to Haughton is. If it is that he is writing for a general audience with a penchant for sensational material then I would tend to agree with you, but this is certainly not fringe pseudo-science Chariots of the Gods kind of stuff. To me, his writing seems well-researched, balanced, neutral in tone, and factual in content. I certainly can't detect any major POV-pushing in it, and Haughton is certainly not the only one who gives the theory serious consideration. It may well not be the mainstream view (Haughton never says it is) but nobody seems to be dismissing it out of hand. SpinningSpark 22:43, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, didn't get around to replying about Haughton. You might want to see [1]. The book you are talking about has a forward by Frank Joseph, a right wing fringe writer. Haughton praises this introduction in his acknowledgments and also acknowledges David Hatcher Childress. He explained the Joseph thing to me once when I asked him on MySpace but I can't access his reply - something about not knowing who he was, but he must have known who Childress is. He isn't fringe and I would love to use him but never have because I simply don't think the book is good enough. Dougweller (talk) 13:17, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't think we can write-off Haughton merely for acknowledging Childress. We don't know what this was for, but may just have been for providing documents or allowing some of his material to be used. Acknowledgements in books are for rendering a service, it does not mean the author actually agrees with them. Haughton certainly mentions Childress in the text (in connection with the supposed Grand Canyon "Egyptian" civilisation), and you might have had a point if Haughton was slavishly promulgating Childress's theories. However, he does not, in fact he goes some way towards debunking them. In any case, none of this detracts from my objection to the Elizabeth Stone source. Some of her comments are demonstrably wrong, probably she would not have made them if given a chance to reflect on her answers first and they certainly would not end up in a peer reviewed paper. SpinningSpark 18:11, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
I am not opposed to the article saying that the battery theory is not the mainstream view, we just need a better citation first. For the avoidance of doubt, I am not trying to support the battery theory, personally I think it probably isn't a battery. One can make a battery out of almost anything organic, potatoes for instance, or frogs, so a jar full of organic liquid is almost a battery by definition. But that does not mean that is what it was used for. SpinningSpark 18:39, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
I think it would have been easy to produce a battery anytime in the last 3 thousand years, maybe more, by accident. As I said, Haughton's not fringe. But he's not Ken Feder either - he has a couple of relevant degrees but basically he's just an author writing about the mysterious. Dougweller (talk) 21:50, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't really dispute that, and I am not opposed to replacing Haughton with something better - if you have it. But as I say, none of that detracts from my comments about the Stone source. SpinningSpark 18:27, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
I understand your reasoning and share your concern with the validity of the Stone citation. I put it in originally, so at first thought it worth inclusion. I still think it's worth inclusion because we're quite unlikely to find a peer-reviewed paper saying "This thing is not a battery," because those familiar with the object are not likely to spend time on that sort of thing if in fact it was not a battery. It's like finding a paper saying, "These bowls were never used as hats." I would think an archaeologist studying Iraq would know more about the artifact than, say, an archaeologist studying Iran. Rather than saying, "I'm not familiar with that," she was able to come up with something more substantial, indicating her impression of the positions of researchers in the field, some of whom would plausibly be expected to have experience with this artifact. -- ke4roh (talk) 19:20, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I certainly agree - I don't see her hesitation as a problem. Would you like to put it back? A recent comment by an expert seems very useful. Dougweller (talk) 21:31, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Seeing no further comments, I put it back. -- ke4roh (talk) 03:01, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I lost track of this! Dougweller (talk) 08:56, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Engines of our Ingenuity[edit]

Engines of our Ingenuity has at least twice mentioned the Baghdad Battery - once with an episode entirely devoted to the device, [2], and once to say "probably used for electroplating."[3]. Not sure how/if to work those in - these are engineering folk, not archaeologists. -- ke4roh (talk) 01:51, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Abuse of citation needed[edit]

Wikipedia should not be used for fringe science, unless it is noted so, and there are strict rules for that, please see Talk:Fringe science#Arbitration Ruling on the Treatment of Pseudoscience. It seems that whoever dotted the article with 'Citation Needed', has put almost all of them on the "sceptic" side, - the mainstream archaeological academics, turning the tables and pretending that universities and science are the fringe science while conspiracy believers and fringe science advocates are the mainstream.

Nothing to do now in the article, but perhaps check on these editors. In the current article I filled in all citations requested, and added the fringe science criticism, as well as showing the original Arthur C. Clark series where, if not a hoax, could be EASILY but costly reproduced. Reproducing the trial with that size battery, and quantity of grape juice (half a glass, producing .5 volts at unknown current) coating a silver idol within "minutes" (how many? must be less than an hour...) would blow away all the accusations. So mythbusters have to redo their trial, with the same size and quantity as Eggebrecht to prove the point (of gold plating). From here to full fledged power the distance of course is great. Meanwhile enjoy your laptop battery, and happy surfing. פשוט pashute ♫ (talk) 04:44, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

videos and copyright[edit]

I think I'm ok now. If not, please notify me and perhaps allow me one day to get back and correct. Doug Weller was correct. I checked the Discovery channel, and they did not release (as far as I can see) the Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World to Youtube. I still strongly encourage you to try and find a legitimate version and watch it. The third part of Episode 3 with Dr. Eggebrecht is very convincing. As opposed to this, Chris White HAS released his videos to youtube (and in fact strores them there), and so did History channel with the Ancient aliens video. פשוט pashute ♫ (talk) 08:01, 18 November 2013 (UTC)


Has any comparison been made with the Copper Scroll? Jackiespeel (talk) 18:45, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Language not encyclopedic[edit]

"...assuming von Däniken knows his presentations are skewed and mostly not true, but still advocating the theories for money or fame."

Probably true but not particularly encyclopedic. Unverifiable. Poorly written. Page needs some TLC.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 11:49, 22 May 2014‎

It's verified that some (most?, all?) in the scientific community do think that of von Däniken. The article is not accusing von Däniken of charlatanism in Wikipedia's voice, it says mainstream academia accuse him of that. And they're not wrong. SpinningSpark 12:29, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

Why I think the "Coso artifact" doesn't belong as a see also[edit]

The Coso artifact is a 20th century sparkplug believed by some to be an impossibly early bit of technology - half a million years old.

No one argues about the date of these artefacts (plural, there is more than one, I have no idea why the title is singular). Some people believe they were created as batteries. This isn't impossible as the materials existed and the discovery could have been accidental. It's just wrong.

I'm not sure if this is an example of a "categorical difference", but the differences seem large to me. Doug Weller (talk) 16:56, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

I think a legitimate argument could be made both for and against inclusion. The fact is that there is not a shred of evidence to prove the "Baghdad Battery" was ever actually invented, let alone used as a battery. There is not even any circumstantial evidence to back up that claim, just as there isn't any evidence to prove that it was used for electroplating. In other words, there is no evidence at all to prove for what use the "Baghdad Battery" was actually intended for, or whether it was even actually used for anything at all. It's all speculation.
The similarity to the Corso artifact would be in the claim that in this sense of speculation and pseudoarchaeology. If you are arguing that connecting the two constitutes original research, that's a different matter entirely. Are there prior comparisons between these artifacts that can be established? Laval (talk) 02:52, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
The reason for inclusion was that the Coso artifact (just one) was also an archeological find which was originally interpreted as an impossibly old electronic device — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aardwolf A380 (talkcontribs) 07:27, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
That's not the case. The Coso artifact was found by prospectors looking for geodes, not by archaeologists excavating an archaeological site. And the accidental discovery of a battery at that time is possible, if not likely, and certainly not "impossibly old". One is historic, the other hundreds of millions of years before Homo sapiens existed and unlike these artifacts, would require a completely rewrite of the history of humanity. Doug Weller (talk) 11:27, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
500,000 years was not 'long before' Homo Sapiens existed. I understand that both objects can be seen as almost the opposites of each other: the Baghdad Battery was an ancient object mistaken as being some sort of archaic battery; the Coso artifact was a modern spark plug mistaken as being from the Stone Age. However, the fact that both were incorrectly judged by some to be evidance of electrical knowledge thousands of years earlier than generally considered possible to me warrants a link to be made. Aardwolf A380 (talk) 00:08, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
It's about 300,000 years before Homo Sapiens existed, and about 460,000 years give or take before there were even ancestors of Homo Sapiens in North America. That is definitely "long before", and would require a rewrite of evolution to allow for technically advance hominids in the Americas. "Thousands of years" earlier certainly isn't 500,000 years. And since it is easy to make a battery using commonly available materials, eg potatoes or lemons and 2 kinds of metal, it could have happened through serendipity - although unlikely. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Doug Weller (talkcontribs) 07:51, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Ok, maybe it could be considered 'long before' modern humans existed. However, this is not the point and should not distract from my previous reasoning. If Doug Weller thinks I am trying to legitimise the Coso artifact (which I don't believe to be the case) they are mistaken. Furthermore, it appears that the general consensus is that the Baghdad artifact was as much not a battery as the Coso find was not 500,000 years old. Aardwolf A380 (talk) 09:58, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
I absolutely do not think in any way that you are trying to legitimise the Coso artifact. I just think these are too unlike to be see alsos. We have a good faith disagreement. Doug Weller (talk) 11:08, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
I am sorry if any of my comments might have appeared to be overly assertive; no harm was intended in any way. The only way for this issue to get resolved in my view is for several editors other than ourselves to contribute to this discussion Aardwolf A380 (talk) 12:01, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I can't really see a problem with this as a see also. It is helpful for readers looking for articles about artefacts claimed to be examples of ancient advanced technology. The fact that it isn't really an ancient artefact is really beside the point. We are not really making any claim about it one way or the other by putting it in see also. It's something that could plausibly be discussed in the article, by way of comparison and contrast for instance, and ultimately, that is the justification for a see also according to WP:ALSO. The guideline also says "The links...might be only indirectly related...because one to enable readers to explore tangentially related topics." Links in a navigation template need to be exactly as claimed in the navbox titles, but see also can be more free form. SpinningSpark 17:20, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Fine, I withdraw my objection. Doug Weller (talk) 17:35, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Generally rejected?[edit]

Permit me to be the skeptic here.

The Baghdad Battery is believed to be about 2000 years old (from the Parthian period, roughly 250 BCE to CE 250). The jar was found in Khujut Rabu just outside Baghdad and is composed of a clay jar with a stopper made of asphalt. Sticking through the asphalt is an iron rod surrounded by a copper cylinder. When filled with vinegar - orany other electrolytic solution - the jar produces about 1.1 volts.
There is no written record as to the exact function of the jar, but the best guess is that it was a type of battery. Scientists believe the batteries (if that is their correct function) were used to electroplate items such as putting a layer of one metal (gold) onto the surface of another (silver), a method still practiced in Iraq today.

And it's not the only artifact that may have been a battery:

As a new example, the hypothetic “Thracian battery” presents an interesting opportunity to expose students and interested people to the nature of electrochemistry trough scientific examination of one of the most famous archeological artefacts of the Thracian civilization – the Kazichene treasure. Kortoso (talk) 21:52, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Your first link is to a webpage created by a couple of students. Hardly a good source for a "best guess". Your second is to a paper which is speculation by non-archaeologists who are honest about the lack of evidence: " However, no archaeological evidence exists supporting the application of ancient galvanic elements or other similar electrical devices." It's the people who are specialists in archaeology who we should be listening to, not students or experts in other fields. Doug Weller (talk) 10:07, 20 June 2015 (UTC)