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.Since the average lunar month is 29.5 days, over 12 months this would produce a total of only 354 days as against a solar year of 365.25 days.To keep the calendar aligned to the seasons they added seven extra months in each period of 19 years, equivalent to the way we add an extra day in leap years.Egypt was also home to Imhotep the first man of science in recorded history. both of which refer to earlier works attributed to Imhotep. The process for making wrought iron was discovered by the Hittites, in Northern Mesopotamia and Southern Anatolia (now part of Eastern Turkey), who heated iron ore in a charcoal fire and hammered the results into wrought (worked) iron. Recorded in the Bible, Book of Exodus, Chapter 39, Verse 3, - "And they did beat the gold into thin plates, and cut it into wires, to work it. Its construction is described in great detail in the book of Exodus and according to the Bible and Jewish legend it was endowed with miraculous powers including emitting sparks and fire and striking dead Aaron's sons and others who touched it.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 travelled to Egypt and the city state of Babylon in Mesopotamia (now modern day Iraq) and is said to have brought Babylonian mathematics back to Greece.The following rules are attributed to him: Using the concept of similar triangles he was able to calculate the height of pyramids by comparing the size of their shadows with smaller, similar triangles of known dimensions.
There are also claims that the Archimedes' Screw may have been invented in Mesopotamia and used for the water systems at the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Fine metal working techniques were also developed in Egypt where filigree jewellery and cloisonné work found in Tutankhamun's tomb dating from 1327 B. was made from delicate wires which had been drawn through dies and then soldered in place. Fine wire also made by the Egyptians by beating gold sheet and cutting it into strips. Around this date, after his escape from Egypt, Moses ordered the construction of the Ark of the Covenant to house the tablets of stone on which were written the original "Ten Commandments".
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.
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.
Background We think of a battery today as a source of portable power, but it is no exaggeration to say that the battery is one of the most important inventions in the history of mankind.