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Ancient Electricity

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Ancient Electricity

So who was it that actually discovered electricity and took the opportunity to create an artificial light source? Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison are the respective gentlemen believed to be the fathers of light or at least that’s the answer that has been accepted as a fact.

Curiosity and surprise have been present when trying to figure out how did the ancients in Egypt achieve their artistic and technical perfection in total darkness in the immense underground corridors that are found in countless monuments in different necropolis through Egypt. Just how did they manage these incredible feasts without a constant light source? That is a question that has been partially answered by archaeologists and historians, but these theories haven’t been accepted by everyone.

Within the Temple of Hathor, which is part of the Dendera (Tentyra) Temple Complex in Egypt, are a series of carvings that many people believe depict the sophisticated use of electricity to generate light. Items identified are as follows: an arc light lamp (horizontal) several upright lamps, lamp socket, arc light flicker (snake) electric cables, an isolator and even a large upright battery. If historians and archaeologists believed that the Egyptians from this period used electricity then this would probably be considered a classic example. A further point that is often overlooked is that Hathor was a goddess who is usually shown with a sun disk suspended between two horns exactly like the reflecting mirror of an arc-lamp – even the dimensions are optimal.

Although the equipment in the images may seem obvious it should also be noted that many historians, archaeologists and Egyptologists strongly deny that the images are anything more than the representation of a fertility rite based on Egyptian mythology. Proponents of the ‘lights’ theory are often dismissed as fringe scientists while mainstream Egyptologists are often accused of hiding behind conveniently concocted myths and retentive thinking. Both groups seem certain in their beliefs.


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