HomeTrendingArchaeologist Discovers Ancient Batteries, Baffled When He Sees They Actually Work

Archaeologist Discovers Ancient Batteries, Baffled When He Sees They Actually Work

It’s easy to think technology moves along with the times and that some of the most fantastic innovations have yet to be invented.

But what if some of the things that we consider to be the greatest inventions of our times had actually already been discovered hundreds – or even thousands – of years ago?

Perhaps not the most well-loved invention, especially if you have to wake up early for work, but the alarm clock’s humble beginnings can actually be traced back to Ancient Greece.

The clepsydra – or “water thieves” – device featured an elaborate system of bell jars forced down into water which would slowly rise to drop pebbles onto a gong. But the Greeks weren’t the only ones smart enough to come up with technological advances way ahead of their time.

Researchers in Mount Baigong, China, discovered a large room in a cave that they estimated was 150,000 years old. But the astonishing thing about a room that old was the pipes that lead to the lake – suggesting the cave had plumbing.

Scientists later determined the pipes to be fossilized tree roots. But oddly, the pipes themselves were reported to be highly radioactive. Speaking of which.

Experts believe a fully-functional nuclear reactor must have existed in Oklo, Africa’s Gabon Republic – as long as 1.8 billion years ago.

When the French discovered uranium ore there in 1972, scientists estimated the reactor must have been operational for 500,000 years and they claim there’s no way it could have occurred naturally. Not unlike this early invention.

They were just digging a well on their land when these Texas farmers came across a rock wall that appeared to have been built 200,000 to 400,000 years ago.

A historian determined that the rocks were magnetized, claiming the wall had formed naturally, but other experts are convinced the wall can only be the work of ancient construction workers due to what seems like detailed design flourishes. But it’s not as old as this architectural wonder. 

While it’s debatable whether it actually existed or not, an ancient bridge that crossed the Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka was said to have been built by King Rama.

According to Indian mythology, the bridge would be a million years old – and there are ruins to suggest it’s true, although they could just as easily have been a natural rock formation. But there’s no way this next artifact occurred organically.

Archaeologists were left scratching their heads when they uncovered an Ulfberht Viking sword. Finding one of the 170 swords in existence is a rarity in and of itself, but this intricate blade had been forged 800 years before the technology had been invented.

A modern blacksmith even attempted to replicate the blade and said it was the most difficult sword he had ever made. But surely not as difficult as making one of these in the 16th century.

Mapmaking has come a long way, with modern technology like satellite photography taking care of a lot of the hard work.

But Turkish admiral Piri Reis somehow managed to draw a map of Antarctica in 1513 – before the polar region was covered in ice. Just how he created such an accurate map back then remains a mystery. Maybe he had access to one of these 2000-year-old Greek computers.

The Antikythera Mechanism was built to calculate the position of the sun, planets, and to predict eclipses. It has been described as a hand-powered “analog computer.”

It was discovered in a shipwreck off the coast of the Greek island of Antikythera. “If it hadn’t been discovered, no one would possibly believe that it could exist because it’s so sophisticated,” said mathematician Tony Freeth. But if a 2000-year old computer found in a shipwreck was difficult for experts to comprehend, this half-a-billion-year-old device was sure to baffle them.

Discovered by chance by three friends out prospecting in California in 1961, a suspected spark plug had left geologists stumped when it turned up inside a 500,000-year-old rock.

The Coso artifact seemed to suggest an advanced civilization from the past, but it has since been identified as a 1920s-era spark plug. But the question remains, what was it doing inside a rock said to be that old? Maybe this next ancient device can shed some light on the mystery.

While no actual artifact was discovered here, the Dendera Light suggests that ancient Egyptians had discovered electricity thousands of years before Edison.

The theory comes from a relief found beneath the Temple of Hathor in Dendera. It depicts figures carrying what would appear to be a lightbulb, although historians say the hieroglyphics are being misinterpreted. But there’s no mistaking this next relic.

In 1957, amateur archaeologist Guy Mellgren stumbled across a silver Norweigian coin at an old Native American site in Maine.

With the site dated between 1180 and 1235, its discovery would suggest interactions between Native Americans and people outside of America centuries before Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to the continent in 1492. Or could there be another explanation, like the conflicting views on this next find.

An 1820s French construction crew came across their ancient counterparts when they discovered tools encased in limestone when digging at a stone quarry near Aix-en-Provence.

Preserved in limestone, the tools would have had to be thousands of years old to outdate the rock they were encased in. But some suggest they could just be tree roots that resemble tools. Unlike these ancient power sources, which actually work!

Archaeologist Wilhelm Konig was on a dig in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1938 when he pulled up a pair of clay jars with asphalt stoppers and iron rods attached.

What the German had discovered were the now-famous Baghdad Batteries, which were capable of generating a volt of electricity. And they weren’t the only fully-functioning artifacts discovered.

Inventor Zhang Heng is credited with discovering the world’s first seismoscope – and it was surprisingly accurate. The 132 A.D device worked with a bronze ball dropping through one of several tubes to indicate the direction of the impending natural disaster.

Heng’s device correctly warned citizens of an earthquake 300 miles west of Luoyang, the capital city. Perhaps we’re not as advanced of a civilization as we think we are.


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