Papyri were unearthed in the nineteenth century dating from around 1600 B. Other contemporary papyri described Egyptian mathematics. Egyptian teachings provided the foundation of Greek science and although Imhotep's teachings were known to the Greeks, 2200 years after his death, they assigned the honour of Father of Medicine to Hippocrates. Designs were cut into a sheet of papyrus and pigments were applied through the apertures with a brush. The Xia dynasty in China perfected the casting of bronze for the production of weapons and ritual wine and food vessels, reaching new heights during the Shang dynasty (1600-1050 B. The lid was decorated with two "cherubim" with outstretched wings.
The technique was reputed to have been in use in China around the same time but no artifacts remain. In 1915 Nikola Tesla, in an essay entitled "The Fairy Tale of Electricity" promoting the appreciation of electrical developments, proposed what seemed a plausible explanation for some of the magical powers of the Ark.
In recent years batteries have changed out of all recognition. Today the cells are components in battery systems, incorporating electronics and software, power management and control systems, monitoring and protection circuits, communications interfaces and thermal management. Mesopotamia, incorporating Sumer, Babylonia and Assyria, known in the West as the Cradle of Civilisation was located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (The name means "land between the rivers") in the so called Fertile Crescent stretching from the current Gulf of Iran up to modern day Turkey. the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia developed the World's first written language.
(See Map of Mesopotamia) Unfortunately this accolade ignores the contributions of the Chinese people and the Harappans of the Indus Valley, (Modern day Pakistan) who were equally "civilised" during this period practicing metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin) and urban planning, with civic buildings, baked brick houses, and water supply and drainage systems. Called Cuneiform Writing from the Latin "cuneus", meaning "wedge", it was developed as a vehicle for commercial accounting transactions and record keeping.
The Mesopotamians thus introduced the 60-minute hour, the 60-second minute and the 360-degree circle with each angular degree consisting of 60 seconds.
The calendar adopted by the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians was based 12 lunar months and seven-day weeks with 24-hour days.
Initially inspired by the development of batteries, it covers technology in general and includes some interesting little known, or long forgotten, facts as well as a few myths about the development of technology, the science behind it, the context in which it occurred and the deeds of the many personalities, eccentrics and charlatans involved.
"Either you do the work or you get the credit" Yakov Zel'dovich - Russian Astrophysicist Fortunately it is not always true.
He was the world's first named architect and administrator who around 2725 B. built the first pyramid ever constructed, the Stepped Pyramid of Saqqara. The first outlines surgical treatments for various wounds and diseases and the second contains 877 prescriptions and recipes for treating a variety of medical conditions making Imhotep the world's first recorded physician. The earliest evidence of the art of stencilling used by the Egyptians. in the fine linen, with cunning work." The Egyptians also made coarse glass fibres as early as 1600 B. and fibers survive as decorations on Egyptian pottery dating back to 1375 B. It was basically a wooden box of acacia wood lined with gold and also overlaid on the outside with gold.
He claimed that the gold sheaths separated by the dry acacia wood effectively formed a large capacitor on which a static electrical charge could be built up by friction from the curtains around the Ark and this accounted for the sparks and the electrocution of Aaron's sons.
Recent calculations have shown however that the capacitance of the box would be in the order of 200 pico farads and such a capacitor would need to be charged to 100,000 volts to store even 1 joule of electrical energy, not nearly enough to cause electrocution. The magnetic properties of the naturally occurring lodestone were first mentioned in Greek texts.
The writing was in the form of a series of wedge-shaped signs pressed into soft clay by means of a reed stylus to create simple pictures, or pictograms, each representing an object. the script progressively evolved to encompass more abstract concepts as well as phonetic functions (representing sounds, just like the modern Western alphabet) enabling the recording of messages and ideas.
The clay subsequently hardened in the Sun or was baked to form permanent tablets. For the first time news and ideas could be carried to distant places without having to rely on a messenger's memory and integrity.