The Bagdad Battery

Description: This clay pot was discovered in 1936 in an excavation near Baghdad. It is five inches long and contains a copper cylinder that encased an iron rod. A replica of the pot was constructed and filled with grape juice (an acidic). The pot produced about 1 volt of electricity proving that this pot was an ancient battery. It is speculated that the battery may have been used to electroplate metals or for medicinal purposes. Several other batteries have also been discovered. The Battery is on display in the National Museum in Iraq.

Mainstream Theory: Most scientists agree that it is a battery but usually view it as an archaic attempt at electricity that never resulted in any significant advances.

Alternative Theory: Ancient cultures possessed the knowledge of electricity and possibility used it for several applications. Gold plated objects have been found and may have been electroplated by using a small current of energy, such as from the Baghdad battery. An ancient medical technique included using an electric eel for administiring shocks similar to the practice of acupuncture. Many ancient passageways such as found in the Giza Pyramid have no scorch marks or soot on the walls from torches and it is speculated that they may have used electric lighting fixtures.