Ancient Technology appeared in the Egyptian lighthouse at Alexandria long ago. Speaking of the ancient Egyptian technology on the Pharos Lighthouse, "which has no equal on the face of the earth," the medieval Arab geographer Al Bakri claimed the Alexandrians "assigned to its summit the celebrated mirror, which was made from a mixture of remarkable and extraordinary substances; they were able to see by it enemy ships on their way towards Alexandria, several days away, to prepare themselves for defense." Beside the mirror's function as a telescope, which was obviously used also to study the stars, it was used as a heliostat in sunlight; and at its center, a brilliant arc-light fire flashed out messages on cloudy days and at night.
“That the Pharos was used as a signal-station as well as a lighthouse is certain,” wrote Dr. A. J. Butler, “and at the time of the Arab conquest it was in full working order and flashed the sun by day and its own fire by night many leagues over the sea.” He went on to claim in his exhaustive work titled The Arab Conquest of Egypt and the Last Thirty Years of Roman Dominion that it was a “conspicuous landmark visible by day and by night at a distance of sixty or seventy miles.” At night, electricity, generating a brilliant carbon arc searchlight beam that bounced off the distant clouds, is what made the Pharos's light so conspicuous at an over-the-horizon "distance of sixty or seventy miles." The overwhelming evidence for its use in antiquity is provided in Larry Brian Radka's Electric Mirror on the Pharos Lighthouse and Other Ancient Lighting, as well as in recent articles by him in progressive magazines like Atlantis Rising, World Explorer, Ancient America, Mysteries, and The New Archaeology Review.
However, Larry and Dr. Butler are not alone in pointing out this ancient technology. Another conscious scholar, of the opposite sex, was also inspired to write about the ancient use of telescopes and electricity. In 1877, in Vol. I of Isis Unveiled, the renowned Russian theosophist H. P. Blavatsky pointed out that "Some modern writers deny the fact that a great mirror was placed in the light-house of the Alexandrian port [of Egypt], for the purpose of discovering vessels at a distance at sea. But the renowned Buffon [a famous French naturalist] believed in it; for he honestly confesses that 'if the mirror really existed, as I firmly believe it did, to the ancients belong the honor of the invention of the telescope.'"
She also pointed out that
“Whenever, in the pride of some new discovery, we throw a look into the past, we find, to our dismay, certain vestiges which indicate the possibility, if not the certainty, that the alleged discovery was not totally unknown to the ancients. It is generally asserted that neither the early inhabitants of the Mosaic times, nor even the more civilized nations of the Ptolemaic period were acquainted with electricity. If we remain undisturbed in this opinion, it is not for the lack of proofs to the contrary.”
One of those proofs to the contrary is shown on the Ptolemaic artifact on the right. It shows two ancient Egyptian goddesses viewing wall text at the temple of Denderah by the light of what appears to be two electric filament lamps.
The great Egyptologist John Gardner Wilkinson, author of Materia Hieroglyphica and Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, pointed out that the ancient Egyptian “paintings offer few representations of lamps, torches, or any other kind of light.”Why—when they repeatedly illustrate almost every other Egyptian article? The answer lies in the fact that modern authorities are simply not looking for electric lights on the ancient monuments so they simply do not recognize them!
In her 1877 edition of Isis Unveiled, Madame H. P. Blavatsky wrote: "If we possess but little proof of the ancients having had any clear notions as to all the effects of electricity, there is very strong evidence, at all events, of their having been perfectly acquainted with electricity itself. 'Ben David,' says the author of The Occult Sciences, ''has asserted that Moses possessed some knowledge of the phenomena of electricity.' Professor Hirt, of Berlin, is of this opinion."
"Michaelis remarks—firstly: 'that there is no indication that lightning ever struck the temple of Jerusalem, during a thousand years. Secondly, that according to Josephus, a forest of points . . . of gold and very sharp, covered the roof of the temple. Thirdly, that this roof communicated with the caverns in the hill upon which the temple was situated, by means of pipes in connection with the gilding [electroplating?] which covered all the exterior of the building; in consequence of which the points would act as conductors.'”
These arc lighting ceremonies add weight to Madame Blavatsky's contention that the ancients possessed electrical knowledge.
The Denderah illustration on the right clearly shows a royal arc light ceremony under a roof, like the one at Jerusalem, covered with "a forest of points" to protect it from lightning.
And this one, found by Petrie on an ancient tomb wall at Denderah, shows what appears to be an electric lamp with three bulbs and a power cord.
However, the ancient use of electric lighting was not confined to Egypt. Hymn XV-3 of the sacred Sanskrit verses of the Indian Atharvaveda, dating back to around 1,000 B.C., declares: "O well-versed engineer make use of this terrible electric power fit to be utilized for useful purposes by controlling it, for non-violent, brilliant light like the dawn[like a brilliant carbon arc light]. It has the potentiality to help hearing, control energy, and spread light in all quarters." (Devi Chand's translation)
Another verse of Chand's translation states: "O current electricity of high voltage, safely carried by electric wires, you kill many enemies in the war, waged by learned persons or through the help of natural forces. (Hymn XXXVII-4) This verse certainly shows that the Indians (Buddhists) utilized electrical technology in antiquity, just like the Egyptians. The "electric wires" may have been in cables like the one above.
Hymn XLV—3) even mentions the searchlight by name. The holy text states: “Let this Anjana, which is got from the mountains, which creates four-fold energy i.e., hydraulic power, enhancement of splendor, born of heat, predominating light, like the searchlight, make all the quarters and the mid-quarters peaceful for thee (man or king).”
The illustration above confirms Devi Chand's translation of verse XV-3 of the Atharvaveda. Here we have a Buddhist electric mirror (searchlight), "brilliant like the dawn," cut into a third-century-B.C. stone monument dug up at the ancient "Hill of Lights" in the ruins of a stupa at Amaravati, in modern-day India. Note the electrical guts in this searchlight of ancient India, the dual serpent heads representing positive and negative charges of D.C. electricity commonly used in searchlights, and, above all, the fly whisks that the priestly technicians are using to chase insects away from the extremely bright light. Need we any more physical evidence of ancient electric mirrors or searchlights?
Here are ancient Buddhist priests perhaps holding up filament-types of electric lamps.
And here we see electric searchlights illustrated in one of the crypts under the ancient temple at Denderah. Compare the similarity in the illumination-patterns of this ancient display of stretched-out shafts of light to an exhibit of light serpents springing forth from electric mirrors in modern times below.
Click the animation above for sharper views of these photographs and much more on ancient electricity.
Nevertheless, Wilkinson's mention of the lack of evidence for the “use of torches” by the ancient Egyptians reminds us of what the renowned astronomer Sir J. Norman Lockyer, who studied ancient Egyptian temples and tombs in depth, reported in 1894. In his Dawn of Astronomy, he pointed out an enigma—at the time—when he wrote: "In all freshly-opened tombs there are no traces whatever of any kind of combustion having taken place, even in the inner-most recesses. So strikingly evident is this that my friend M. Bouriant, while we were discussing this matter at Thebes, laughingly suggested the possibility that the electric light was known to the ancient Egyptians." That “possibility” has become reality. Now we know the ancient Egyptians did, indeed, know all about “the electric light” and used it to illuminate the night sky as well as temples and tombs—and it is no longer a laughing matter.
Added proof is found on the right where we find two priests giving the light deity Hathor, or Isis, what appears to be an electric lamp, battery and cable.
The Egyptian goddess Isis is shown sitting upon her throne here, before four large filament lights powered by a huge electric battery in the Temple of Denderah. The naked priest is saluting her with his smaller battery-powered light.
Note the beads on the wires connecting the battery to the lamps above. Using beads, like those on the old-fashioned carbon arc light on our left, was one of the first ways for insulating electrical wires in the nineteenth century. Cotton, after beads, was used for this purpose extensively in the early twentieth century, but the Egyptians, who grew it widely, apparently used it for electrical insulation thousands of years before then. This is evident above in the Denderah tomb illustration of the Egyptian three-bulb lamp. A cotton cord wrapped in a similar way to those manufactured a hundred years ago appears to be connected to it. For more on this ancient discovery, and many others, see The Electric Mirror on the Pharos Lighthouse and Other Ancient Lighting.
Nevertheless, like the goddess Hathor standing above, Lucian of Samosata on the Euphrates spoke of a Syrian goddess who also wore an electric light on her head This second-century historian maintained: "She bears on her head a stone called a 'lamp,' and it receives its name from its function. That stone shines in the night with great clarity and provides the whole temple with light, as with [oil] lamps. In the daytime, it shines dimly, but has a very fiery aspect." The "lamp" may have resembled the one worn by the goddess of light Hathor or one of the four large electric lights behind the light goddess Isis in the temple at Denderah illustrated above.
Furthermore, a couple of centuries later, in his City of God, St. Augustine (354—430 A.D.) pointed out that in Egypt, “There was, and still is, a temple of Venus, in which a lamp burns so strongly in the open air that no storm or rain extinguishes it.” He blamed “the reality” of this marvelous lamp, which was likely an arc light, on the miracles of the “black arts” performed by demons and men. He wrote:
"We add to that inextinguishable lamp a host of other marvels of human and of magical origin—that is miracles of the demon’s black arts performed by men, and miracles performed by the demons themselves. If we choose to deny the reality of these, we shall ourselves be in conflict with the truth of the sacred books in which we believe. Thus either human ingenuity has devised in that inextinguishable lamp some contrivance based on the asbestos stone [carbon] or else it was contrived by magic art to give men something to marvel at in that shrine; or perhaps some demon presented himself there under the name of Venus with which such effect that this prodigy was displayed to the public there and continued there for so many years."
St. Augustine also claimed that the asbestos stone "has no fire of its own, and yet, when it has received fire, blazes so fiercely with a fire not its own that it cannot be quenched.” This points to the carbon in an arc light receiving its fire from an electric source—an ancient battery—“not its own.” Furthermore, he also claimed “no storm or rain extinguishes it.” This also points to the electric carbon arc light because a nineteenth-century edition of Chamber’s Encyclopaedia maintains that it“can be produced in a vacuum, and below the surface of water, oils, and other non-conducting liquids, and it is thus quite independent of the action of the air.”
A product of the same century, Master Electrical Engineer John B. Varity, in Electricity up to Date for Light, Power, and Traction, wrote: "Although the study of Electricity has only been developed within the last century, there is no doubt that its existence was known to the civilized world of 2000 years ago. It may well be that Electricity was the magic of the Ancients, and that Tullus Hostilius, who, according to the Roman myth, incurred the wrath of Jove for practicing magical arts and was struck dead with a thunderbolt, may have met a more prosaic end through receiving a fatal shock while experimenting with a high pressure current."
This may have been the type of "high pressure current" that was needed to power the Denderah-temple lights with wiring schematics, bulbs, and batteries that appear above.
Hopefully, the schematic of the (red) batteries hooked up to the (white) electric lights in B above will finally convince even the most dedicated skeptic that that the ancient Egyptians used electric lights, including the Edison filament variety. In this Denderah-Temple illustration, we see one end of the battery cable loops (like those in A)—which serve also as carrying straps when not connected to a lamp—disconnected from their batteries and hooked up to the electric lamps that they are powering.
The arrangement at the top of illustration B apparently has two (hidden) electric bulbs (each powered by its own battery) inside the flower-designed reflector, and two separate white lights are beaming upward out of its Lotus (a sun or light symbol) reflector. The batteries below it are tied together in parallel and supply power to two more reflective bulb holders. The drawing of this type of electrical arrangement is repeated at least three more times on the walls of the temple at Denderah.
In C, three Egyptian electric lights sit on a stand that contains their power source—accessed by what appears to be a tall, narrow door in the front of it. Notice the two loops in the cables at the base of the stem of the lamp with the lotus shade or reflector on the center of the stand. One probably runs to the positive and the other to the negative terminals of its battery.
In D, four electric lamps with flower reflectors on a cornice seem to be connected in series with wire nuts, but internal wires in their cables may connect them in parallel instead. (We added labels and colors in all of these illustrations for emphasis.)
The illustration above, from the ancient temple at Denderah, shows how the ancient Egyptians depicted the action of an electric carbon arc light, the ignition point of Saint Augustine's indistinguishable lamp. Perhaps the flames are shooting up toward the typically rounded point of the negative carbon from the crater generated by the positive electrode, which typically flames up and is appropriately lighting up the Goddess of Light Hathor (or Isis). With respect to the overlapping arrow heads, they may be depicting an erroneous style (Conventional Method) of showing the direction of electric current flow. Or, perhaps they are pointed to a brilliant object in the sky, thereby demonstrating that the positive crater of this ancient carbon arc light blazed as brightly as the Sun, like the light on the Ark of the Covenant.
And The Catholic Encyclopedia leads us to a strong tip as to where the mysterious elements of the Arc of the Covenant migrated. This authority reveals that “St. Bede relates (Hist. Eccles. Angl., V, 15) that Arculf, on his return from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land about 670 or 690, was cast by tempest on the shore of Scotland. He was hospitably received by Adamnan, the abbot of the island monastery of Iona, to whom he gave a detailed narrative of his travels to the Holy Land, with specifications and designs of the sanctuaries so precise that Adamnan, with aid from some extraneous sources, was able to produce a descriptive work in three books, dealing with Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the principal towns of Palestine, and Constantinople. Adamnan presented a copy of this work to Aldfrith, King of Northumbria in 698. It aims at giving a faithful account of what Arculf actually saw during his journey. As the latter 'joined the zeal of an antiquarian to the devotion of a pilgrim during his nine months’ stay in the Holy City, the work contains many curious details that might otherwise have never been chronicled.'” The rest of the story lies in The Electric Mirror.