Saturday, January 8, 2011

An electric battery that is more than two thousand years old?

Archaeologists in Iraq have found what appears to be an ancient electric battery. The object, dating from roughly 230 BC, was found in an excavation of a Parthian village in 1936. It consists of a small vase containing a copper cylinder surrounding an iron rod. Sceptics insist that it is a scroll case. However, it cannot be denied that if an acid, such as lemon juice, is poured into such a vase, an electric current is created. In fact, the current is sufficient to be used to electroplate metal objects suspended in the correct metal solution.

If the battery was indeed used for this purpose, it may mean that much of what modern museums classify as ancient gold objects may only be gold plated objects...