Moving Mountains


Pondering the Baghdad Battery last night got me thinking about other remarkable ancient accomplishments.

Stone was the ancient material of choice. Somehow they were able to not only quarry massive blocks with precision accuracy, they transported them for miles. In the case of sites like Machu Pichu, across rivers and hundreds of feet straight up the side of a mountain.

In Feb. of 2012 a rock weighing 680,000 lbs. was quarried in Riverside California. It was to be transported 100 miles to the L.A. County Museum of Art for an exhibit called “Levitated Mass” Over 100 workers, a 1.4 million lb. crane, 2,400 horsepower truck, structure made of steel girders supported by 208 tires, a power unit pushing and another pulling; were able to move it at around 5 miles per hour.

The Western Stone in Jerusalem weighs 1.2 million lbs., Ramesseum Statue in Thebes, Egypt 2 million lbs., and the Trilithon at the Temple of Jupiter in Lebanon 4.8 million lbs. All quarried miles away. Somehow these single blocks of stone were not only transported, but set perfectly in place without  anything other than incredible ingenuity.  Puma Punku in Bolivia sits at the top of a mountain plateau, at an elevation of 12,00 feet. Built before these people even had the wheel, somehow rocks weighing up to 100 tons found their way up the side of  this imposing mountain.

Engineering head scratchers litter the ancient world. Ponder a time when the expression “moving mountains” didn’t elude to an impossible task, rather, just another day at the quarry.

Baghdad Battery


Please be patient as I ponder a few things on the way to my point.

I wonder how many people are prepared to step outside the generally accepted box, suspend conventional thinking, and look at our history with fresh eyes. What would it take to snap people out of the notion that the history taught in school is final and absolute. I often write about ancient history; a subject that fuels my imagination, lifts my spirit, and is guaranteed to leave me asking for more. The crushing reality is – nobody cares. Friends for the most part indulge my enthusiasm for a minute or two, then the eyes start to wander as they muster a dismissive “that’s really cool”. One friend teases that I have a “tin foil hat” ready to ward off alien invasions. Beyond perplexing is the idea that any thought outside a dusty old textbook,  immediately places the thinker in the “wing nut” category.Why is it that those who ponder lost civilizations or knowledge find themselves lumped in with the ancient alien crowd? Fortunately I have a thick skin, laughing it off as I fret over their stilted imaginations.

One obvious possibility; the unknown or unexplained can be terrifying. Creation myth has existed since the dawn of time. Worship, religion, whatever you want to call it provided “a place for everything, and everything in its place” . Suddenly there was an answer for everything. For centuries comfort was found in your God; questions not only unnecessary, but frowned upon. I pity the first men of science whose heresy sealed a gruesome fate.

We live in an age of science, devour technology, yet won’t allow unexplained truths unearthed by that science, coax us out of our safe warm place. Irrefutable scientific evidence tells us our accepted historical timeline is hogwash. Look at my posts under “Ancient History” as I fear my family will scream if I explain Piri Reis, Puma Punku, or Gobekli Tepe again.

Now the Baghdad Battery, something to ponder within the parameters of our perceived history. In 1938 German archaeologist Wilhelm Konig dug up five clay jars. These vessels found at Khujut Rabu outside Baghdad, were dated to around 250 BC.Each one had an iron rod down the middle, held in place by an asphalt stopper. Surrounding this, the inside of the jar was copper. tests showed evidence of an acidic residue such as vinegar. His conclusion – it was a battery. Capable of producing up to 4 volts, it is widely accepted to have been used to electroplate gold or silver.

Ponder the 2000 year old battery. Imagine what else waits to be discovered, wrap your head around possibilities that defy explanation. Take comfort in the knowledge that unanswered questions might just be what your soul is missing.

Baghdad Battery