A painter by profession, König was also interested in natural science. In 1931 he was elected assistant to the German leader of the Baghdad Antiquity Administration as head of the laboratory. In 1938 he made the first thorough examination of a curious clay jar in the National Museum of Iraq (of which he was the director), now known as the Baghdad Battery. In 1940, having returned to Berlin due to illness, he published a paper speculating that they may have been galvanic cells, perhaps used for electroplatinggold onto silver objects.
In March 2012, Professor Elizabeth Stone, of Stony Brook University, an expert on Iraqi archaeology, returning from the first archaeological expedition in Iraq after 20 years, stated that she does not know a single archaeologist who believed that these were batteries.
^Stone, Elizabeth (March 23, 2012). Archaeologists Revisit Iraq. Interview with Flatow, Ira. Science Friday. Retrieved April 6, 2012. My recollection of it is that most people don't think it was a battery. ...It resembled other clay vessels... used for rituals, in terms of having multiple mouths to it. I think it's not a battery. I think the people who argue it's a battery are not scientists, basically. I don't know anybody who thinks it's a real battery in the field.