July 24, 2013

A Connection Between Tubal-cain & Ancient Electricity?

Riddle of 'Baghdad's Batteries'

Thursday, 27 February, 2003

Arran Frood investigates what could have been the very first batteries and how these important archaeological and technological artefacts are now at risk from the impending war in Iraq. (Read Full Article Here)

I came across this ten year old article on the BBC website concerning a rather odd ancient artifact found in Iraq called the Baghdad Battery (or Parthian Battery). It has been dated to at least the early centuries AD or as far back as 200 B.C. It was discovered in 1936 in the village of Khuyut Rabbou'a near Baghdad. These artifacts came to worldwide attention in 1938 when Wilhelm König, the German director of the National Museum of Iraq, found the objects in the museum's collections. In 1940, König published a paper speculating that they may have been galvanic cells or batteries.

Our non-believingand skeptical neighbors have approached this artifact two different ways when dealing with this enigma. The first is to deny it outright and attempt to build a case of poor archaeology against it. They then further attack the "science" behind the construction of the artifact stating that it would take multiple adjustments on the design to make it a workable battery. Never mind the fact that exact replicas have been made that have indeed produced a substantial amount of electrical current. When all of the batteries were linked together, they produced upwards of 4 volts. 

When this aforementioned methodology of discounting the batteries origins has failed (which it seems it as lately), more (ahem) peculiar explanations come to the fore. We get the much more plausible rationalization that this technology came from none other than aliens. No, not the ones from other countries...the kind from outer space. 

In some cases I have even heard many Christians justify the source of this technology through similar unlikely sources (although not always firmly based in Scripture). I have had some Christians assert that this knowledge or technology came from angelic/demonic supernatural sources. Although I am not foolish enough to fully rule this speculation out, I am not gung-ho at taking this suggestion fully at face value. Why? There is no Scripture to support the theory other than negligible reference to what appears to be angelic beings (fallen) of supernatural origin mingling with humanity in Genesis 6:4 and even this is questionable depending on how one chose to translate the term "sons of God" from the Hebrew.

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

I have seen this single piece of Scripture abused every which way to Sunday. Unless I read between the words in the blank spaces between the words, there is nothing here in Scripture to make me believe supernatural beings with supernatural knowledge divulged their knowledge to human counterparts. Did they have sex with them? Probably based on this passage and Jude 6 and 7. Did they give a bunch of esoteric knowledge in the form of technology and supernatural magic? Why would they? It would allow humans to become intellectually equivalent and therefore pose a threat. No, I am going for a much more plausible Scriptural elucidation here. Sorry to those looking for a much more sensationalized clarification here. I suggest you go elsewhere if that's what you really want. My biblical suggestion about this technology comes from a much more mundane and non-threatening passage in Genesis 4.

Genesis 4:16-22 ~ “Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech. And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron.”

So you ask, "How does this explain the possibility of technology to create and ancient battery?" Simple really. Probably too simple. But you know what they say, sometimes the simplest answer is the most plausible. I believe the answer lies in the longevity or lifespans of people in the pre-antediluvian (pre-Flood) Old Testament.

When you live hundreds of years it would not be surprising that people would become an expert on a certain skill or craft. A person would have centuries to perfect a given specialty or craft to almost a supernatural level of efficiency. We sort of saw this principle put into play a decade or two ago in the Highlander movies and television series. Outside the morbid end many would come to in the episodes, they seemed to have become masters of certain skills and tasks. Having made this modern analogy I now point to passages of Scripture to show some of the same.

First, it says that Cain went away from or left the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod east of Eden. This would geographically put he and his descendants where? It would put them in all probability on the eastern end of the Fertile Crescent near the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. What major ancient city was founded there? Babylon and the future home of the Tower of Babel, the first archetype of a modern city. It would be a city that would bring together the resources of the entire surrounding area both material and human in a cultural hearth. So not only do we have people living extraordinary long lives, they would be doing so with numerous resources at their disposal and they would do it in tightly tied cultural hearths conducive to sharing of ideas and invention.

It would be in this very area where this artifact was found. The passage above says three things about three people that are direct descendants of Cain who wandered and eventually settled in this area…and they all allude to a level of expertise in something.

(v.20) Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock

In this field of expertise we would see the progress of animal husbandry and genetic modification that would allow for heartier lines of animals. It would allow for domestication of animals. It is also quite possible that the longevity seen in humans may have also been in animals too. The “living in tents” is the type of abode one would expect of herders and those dealing with animals. It would be a field of expertise in labor tasks also.

(v.21) His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes.

In this field of expertise we would expect to see progress in music and an understanding of harmony and music’s interaction with human and animals. We would see a level of proficiency and invention that would allow for not only stringed instruments like the Kinnor (harp) of David’s time but also wind instruments or reed instruments like the pipes mentioned and percussion instruments for keeping time required for harmony. These would be intermingled in different arrangements in an artistic manner perhaps even symphonically. It would be a field of expertise in artistic and aesthetic tasks.

(v.22) Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. 

This would be a field of expertise in guild-like utilitarian tasks (trades). These levels of expertise will most likely include an understanding of physical characteristics and properties like metallurgy (properties of metals, substances) and their reaction and interaction with their environment. What is really interesting is that one of the mentioned metals brass/bronze depending on the translation are in reality both alloys made of copper. Bronze is copper and tin and brass is copper and zinc. This means Zillah's descendants would've been quite versed in metallurgy. Of course copper is one of the main constituent parts of the Baghdad Battery for conductivity reasons. In actuality the Hebrew word for "bronze" in this verse is נְחֹ֖שֶׁת and is more properly understood to literally be the specific metal copper (not brass or bronze). In addition the metal iron is mentioned. Iron is also a critical constituent component of our ancient battery. So what we have is an iron rod with a copper-bottom for conductivity reasons contained within an isolated grounded earthenware jar (common in biblical times) so that the electricity generated within the jar discharges only through the conductive metals out through the top of the jar...just like a terminal on a modern battery.

I believe that it is within Zillah's field of expertise compounded with extraordinary longevity of the descendants of Cain will arrive at the invention of an earthen battery that will be found millennium later in the land of Nod...modern day Iraq. It was a battery design that has been dated as far back as the time of the prophets in the Bible or perhaps even to the time of the patriarchs. It would be an invention that pre-dates Alessandro Volta’s 1800 invention of the voltaic pile in 1800 A.D. by thousands of years. Not to mention that it is not incredibly difficult to make a battery from ordinary items such as potatoes and citrus fruits like lemons. It just would've required a little tenaciousness and focused determination over a long time to figure this out.

If one believes the Bible (which I do), it should not come as a surprise that mankind would quickly garner extraordinary levels of intelligence therefore extraordinary technologies long before the time periods when experts of our modern age say they could’ve happened. These surprising inventions need not be attributed to aliens or even angelic beings. Unfortunately, because we have essentially abandoned the validity or the truths of the Bible, many of the possible assertions that could be made from the Bible’s facts are totally disregarded. They are disposed of in favor of more far-flung and ridiculous explanations like aliens.

Furthermore, it would also not be surprising that over intervening centuries and millennium and through the processes of wars and shortened life spans...much of this extraordinary knowledge would become lost to time. As a point of reference, we know for a fact that the Library at Alexandria in Egypt was one of the most significant libraries of the ancient world. It prospered under the Ptolemaic dynasty and functioned as a major center of scholarship from its construction in the 3rd century BC. It is suggested that at one time it had 200,000-500,000 scrolls. Besides being famous for being a virtual compendium of the entire ancient world, the library is also famous for having been burned to the ground, resulting in the loss of most of the accumulated knowledge in the form of scrolls and books. Entire swathes of history were eradicated by fire.

The truth is this. We do not need to believe in far-flung and ridiculous explanations when Occam’s Razor (the simplest answer is the best) applies quite well here. I find it ironic that people will often attack the Bible as a book of myths and fanciful tales written by goat herders. It is funny when this so-called book of myths and fairy tales offers a more plausible solution to an ancient enigma than all the goofy suggestions from the highly-educated godless masses.

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