Light bulb 4800 years old, with the battery from 250 BC and the computer from 190 BC, not to mention the laptop of some thousands of years old.

Door San Daniel gepubliceerd in Verhalen en Poëzie


We at this point in time are burdened by the arrogance that we believe that we are the only ones who have achieved a high level of technology, during all those millions of years that our earth existed. This is not surprising as there were indeed many technological feats that came to pass over the last 100 years .. Developments in the medical field do not stand still, engines took over the heavy manual work, space is being explored and computers become more powerful each day.

Man can fly, travel through space, stay underwater and with its machines is faster than whatever land animal. We are able to kill the enemy without them even being visible to the naked eye at a distance, with a precision that is unlikely and we can, if we want to, communicate all over the world with each other over the internet.

Are we indeed so innovative, really so unique as no man has ever been before? "Think out of the box, the box that we as society itself build around us through intellectual and socialization processes, and to test that idea.  I want to let a number of things pass the limelight, from the many more which are likely to exist, simply to test the above to a bygone era.

If you had found a light bulb 200 years ago you would not have known what it was, that applies to many modern inventions or applications of inventions of the present time. Just think about the telephone, vehicles, mechanization tools, and a variety of communication objects, From morse code key and telegraph to the Internet. You recognize for instance the bulb now, as having the shape of the light bulb because you are familiar with the bulb.



At Dendera in Egypt a temple was erected in honor of Hathor, the mother of all gods. The worship and the temple dates back to 2800 years before Christ and is thus approximately 4800 years old counting back in time.



Out of the ordinary images and scenes that occur as a wall decoration, a few things  that are strange can be noticed. The hallways are long and dark, and no outside light enters further than the entrance. Yet there are a whole range of mural paintings, and there are also many figures carved in relief that were done there on the spot. In itself, you still might assume that you could get very far with torches or oillamps, were it not, that nowhere were there found in the corridors the usual torch holders, nor traces of oillamps or traces of soot.

How then were the reliefs and paintings realized? There is a theory that they may have used mirrors which were removed later when the work was finished, mirrors reflecting the light from corridor to corridor. With mirrors on those points where a corridor curves away, placed at an angle. That could, and until something better presents itself,  be a suiting hypothesis. How else could the Egyptians have found their way through dark corridors that many of us would seem to be a maze?


On one of the images the deity is depicted with something in her hands that you almost can not help but describe as a 'light bulb'. Before we go and  theorize let's take up the description. The 'lightbulb' is connected by a cable to a source where a supporting god is kneeling on seat. The filament in the 'lamp-like image' has the shape of a snake, which was again the symbol of magic in ancient Egypt. The 'filament' is in a sealed transparent form.


All good and well but you'd need power to make a wire glow and did they have it then in Ancient Egypt? And would a lamp as illustrated work? Dr. Walter Gam, made the lamp as depicted and it worked. Dr Gam is a historian and has a masters in African history, and studied Ph.d (doctorate) communications, technology and mobility, he is a researcher at the University of Leiden.

"Yes," says Walter Gam, "the Egyptians of the Old Dynasty were familiar with the phenomenon of electricity." "During excavations such a discovery was made in 1936 in an old Pars city in modern Iraq. An object was excavated which descended from a period of about 250 v. Chr. An archaeological study suspected that it was an electric battery."


"The cylindrical object had a diameter of 2.5 cm and was packed in a jar of terracotta and was made of copper foil of which the seam , with the aid of a lead-tin alloy, was sealed by soldering. On one side of the cylinder was a tight-fitting copper plate, which was isolated with tar. The other side was sealed with a "stopper" of tar, from which a thin iron bar lit up which was coated with copper. If this object was filled up with an acidy solution for example, vinegar, wine or lemon juice it would generate electricity." It gained fame when in 1938 Dr. Wilhelm König, German director of the Iraqi National Museum dedicated an article to it.

But according to the archaeological association of Leiden, this is not extraordinary. There are "jars" (vases) which were generators, a type of battery, residues were found in the jars from vegetable acids. The association believes that these battery-like jars, were used for a form of electrolysis, a process which decomposes water into gases, but that they were also used to "plate gold" where you apply a thin layer of gold for instance over a mask.

It would be strange if all inventions had  only been invented in our time.


the Antikythera

"This instrument, is a marvel of technical ingenuity, it surfaced in 1901 during a diving expedition and was found in a ship wreck. It is the oldest analog computer in the world that we know of, its age is estimated at 190 BC. Then we are talking about an calculating instrument of 2200 years ago.
The Antikythera is a sophisticated and complex mechanism consisting of dozens of bronze gears that were used in conjunction to perform astronomical calculations. It calculated solar eclipses and other celestial phenomena it accurately predicted full moons in ancient Greece. Furthermore, the Antikythera served as a calendar of cultural events such as the Olympic games.


In a public lecture 'Stars, gears and the ancient Greeks' in Leiden, Professor Alexander Jones, a professor in the History of the Exact Sciences in Antiquity at New York University, tried to explain in his contribution to 'Astronomy and gears in ancient texts concerning the Antikythera,' the scientific value of the calculating device. He was there to support and complement Dr. Mike Edmund's lecture who is  professor of astronomy at the University of Cardiff and scientific leader of Athen's Antikythera Mechanism Research Project.

The company X-Tek in 2006 through microfocus CT scans obtained a better understanding of the interior of the device. In the journal Nature of November 29, 2006 they described how  most likely the mechanism would have worked. The unit now consists of 82 pieces (7 large pieces (A - G) and 75 small lumps (1-75). "


"It is still unclear where the mechanism comes from, but the Corinthian month names used indicate that it comes from that area or its colonies, or that it was intended for one of these places. It may have been designed by the astronomer Hipparchus, who lived around that time and who was a prominent astronomer on Rhodes. " It is very peculiar that more than 2200 years ago, people could design a  'computer device' that could perform complex calculations. At a time when the Chinese, who were seen as highly developed used the abacus, to display units, tens and hundreds with coloured beads



From the legacy of William Petty-Fitzmaurice, 1st Marquis of Lansdowne, 1737-1805 (Lansdowne House, London, England), descends the marble, depicting the naiskos tomb from the ancient Greek era. The marquis was an avid collector of antiques from the Greek and ancient Egyptian times. His collection was sold by his heirs, notably the 8th Marquis of Lansdown via the auction house Sotheby's to the  Paul's Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

So what do we see in this picture? I almost dare not let my imagination  run free, I see something very modern here. I'm not talking about two figures where one person shows  the other one something or hands something over. In my opinion the mature woman was looking directly at the open lid, if it were a box, she was not looking into it.


And what do we see on this old antique vase from the same time? I see someone who does something to another object again with an open lid. Nothing is being taken from a box, the image suggests to me that someone using the baton to tap something or touch something. he supports the object with his left arm and hand, and the top portion is folded open, which suggests to me  that it has a rigid pivot that can be placed in various positions.

 He looks with pleasure, with satisfaction at what he sees. What is so funny and gives him a chuckle? It's hard to say on what his eyes are focused.


Back to the image of some 2,000 years old. What is the artist trying to show us? The woman does not need to keep the lid open, as it is indeed being held by the smaller figure. Is she perhaps adjusting the angle a bit of the lid so she can see better what is on the drop-down lid? What is taking place there? What are the two holes for, they were planned holes, as the picture shows great beauty, why a flaw like two unnecessary holes. These are not just any two holes, the artist had seen them and true to life put them in.. Would a jewelery box have had holes there? Why did the sculptor put those two openings in. Phew, do I dare to say it, to suggest it ... is it a 2000 year old laptop?

San Daniel 2016

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Frazer, James, (1890), The Golden Bough - A Study in Magic and Religion

Stone M.Eens was God als Vrouw belichaamd.

Électrolyse de l'eau

Marchant, Jo: Decoding the heavens: solving the mystery of the world's first computer, William Heinemann/Da Capo Press, 2008/2009.

Scientific American, december 2009, p. 52-59 Decoding an ancient computer.

Bochum von Johannes Bergemann - Die Datenbank der attischen Grabreliefs 

Magdalene Söldner, "Naiskoi für Menschen. Eine heroisierende Fiktion im unteritalischen Vasenbild," in Christine Schmitz, Anja Bettenworth (ed.), Menschen - Heros - Gott: Weltentwürfe und Lebensmodelle im Mythos der Vormoderne (Stuttgart, Franz Steiner Verlag, 2009)

October 2007, Colorizing classic statues returns 

08/02/2016 21:29

Reacties (2) 

09/02/2016 09:31
It wouldn't be very wise to think that we are superieur to our ancestors. Just look around in the society of this moment, to see how primitive we are ;-)

Good artikel!
09/02/2016 18:26
I quite agree old friend... we could learn a lot from the Hopi indians, who have held the same life philosophy for generations
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