PART II: SIGNS
by Anthony Forwood (2011)
16: Ancient Technological Artifacts
Over the years and centuries, a number of strange artifacts have been found in different places on the globe that either defy proper placement within the historical record based on our current understandings of our evolutionary past, or that otherwise suggest that we once possessed certain technological know-how that we have still not yet fully realized we once had. These relics, by themselves, give us good reason to wonder about the accuracy of our current understanding of our own history and events that have occurred in the past. However, they are by no means the only evidence, for as we have already seen so far, and will continue to see in later parts of this text, there are many other indications that our current understandings are wrong, that technologically advanced civilizations have existed on Earth that go much further back in time than we might think, and that our human origins may not be as clearly understood as science tells us.
In continuing to explore this theme, I will now introduce several pieces of evidence that exist in the form of technological artifacts that reveal some of the advanced knowledge and abilities of civilizations from the much distant past.
The Baghdad Battery
There are many indications that tie our earliest known civilizations to an even older, prehistoric civilization that we are not otherwise aware of, and it is probable that certain remnants of this earlier civilization have been carried over or otherwise rediscovered and even integrated into our own earliest civilizations. Ancient Mesopotamia and the Middle East have been the main focus in uncovering our earliest historical record, and it is from here that we find a number of mysteries that don’t fit well with the accepted notions we have of these early peoples. Irrespective of what we might be led to believe through scientific assumptions regarding the primitiveness of our early ancestors, there is a large amount of evidence to suggest that at least some of them had a much higher understanding of things than we give them credit for. For instance, although it seems obvious that the technology of our early ancestors was not advanced enough to have incorporated electricity into their everyday lives to any extent, there is nevertheless evidence to show that this was not altogether the case.
In 1938, archeologist Wilhelm Koenig discovered an ancient battery that could generate two volts of electricity. This artifact was found in Khujut Rabu, near Baghdad, Iraq, and was dated to 250 BC. The device consists of an earthenware jar that’s fitted with an asphalt stopper through which an iron bar protrudes. The inside of the jar is fitted with a copper cylinder, and the jar, when filled with ordinary fruit juice, produces a weak electrical current.
Although this ancient battery, with a meager two-volt charge, is not of advanced craftsmanship or great in its usefulness, it nonetheless indicates that certain people in ancient times had a working knowledge of electricity. Whatever purposes they might have had for such a device is not known for certain, but this piece of evidence shows that a working knowledge of electricity certainly existed as far back as 250 BC, and probably for far longer. That this battery is made from rather primitive materials in comparison to our modern batteries shouldn’t be seen as an indication that the knowledge and utility of electricity wasn’t advanced to any great degree at this early time, at least among certain groups of people. It may very well have been privileged knowledge that only certain people held and were able to make use of.
How this knowledge of electricity was gained is uncertain, and it may be that it was simply stumbled upon by accident when someone happened to put the right components together, inadvertently creating a crude battery. However, they would have had to somehow notice that such a device gave off an electric charge. The battery that was found could only produce two volts of electricity, which isn’t even enough to cause any sort of perceptible physical sensation, but a larger version certainly might. Such an accidental discovery might therefore answer to how such a battery may have come to be developed in that period, but it doesn’t answer to what purpose it could have had to cause it to be refined to any degree, as the Baghdad battery was. That this battery’s design was not at all crude for its time suggests that such batteries were at least fairly well developed, and therefore understood, and that there was also some sort of practical usefulness for it. However, there is no evidence of any widespread knowledge or use of electricity in that period of our history. This suggests that at 250 BC, such knowledge was held by only a few, and no records seem to have been kept to document any of this knowledge, at least that have ever been discovered and publicized.
There are a number of possible uses our ancient ancestors might have had for such small charges of electricity, but it seems that whatever uses they were, very little evidence exists to indicate what they were for certain. There are certain Egyptian hieroglyphs that seem to depict large vacuum tubes that look very similar to modern-day light bulbs, and whether this is what they actually are remains uncertain, yet these depictions must not be ignored as a possible connection to the battery found in Baghdad.
The most probable use that these batteries were put to was for gold or silver electroplating, since gold-plated objects have been found in the same area as these batteries. In Impossible Possibilities, authors Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier tell us that electricity was never mentioned specifically in ancient texts on alchemy and magic, but there were nevertheless allusions to something like it. These texts are said to refer to lamps that burn with a cold light, as well as apparatuses that can reproduce pictures similar to modern electrical photography, the manufacture of transparent metals, etc. The possibility that the ancient alchemists knew of and used electrical energy isn’t unlikely at all, and this knowledge may have been passed on to them from much earlier times.
The most probable conclusion that can be made, based on what has been discussed here, is that a working knowledge of electricity was held by at least some of our ancestors as early as 250 BC, but was otherwise not widely used or known about during this time, and such knowledge may have been acquired from a far earlier and more advanced prehistoric civilization, along with other knowledge and artifacts. Such a battery as the one Koenig found may have been nothing more than a novelty item, reconstructed from knowledge that had been passed on for many generations, surviving from a civilization that existed before or during the last ice age period, but then again, it may have had wider applications that we don’t know about.
The Antikythera Astrolabe
Within the ‘Bronze Collection’ at the National Archeological Museum of Athens, Rome, is displayed an unusual mechanical device that was retrieved in 1900 from the shipwreck of an ancient Roman freighter lying at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, near Antikythera Island. Other objects found on the shipwreck date the ship to the period of 80 BC. The actual device was not even noticed until two years after its retrieval amongst a number of other artifacts, when one of its gears was noticed embedded within the encrustations that had formed around it during its long respite on the bottom of the ocean. It took another forty-nine years before it was recognized for what it was: a mechanical analog computer that was capable of calculating the planetary positions as they corresponded to whatever date was indicated by turning a crank on the device.
X-ray analysis done by Professor Derek de Solla Piere and Har Karakalos at the Greek research center Demokritos revealed the amazingly complex design of this object, which consists of an inner clockwork of twenty-seven metal gears that simulate the motion of the sun, moon, stars, and planets with incredible accuracy.
The device made use of a differential gear, which was not known to exist until its reinvention in the sixteenth century. This remarkable device was not at all like the simpler astrolabes that weren’t invented until centuries later, either, but was rather more comparable to a mechanical computer.
The proportions of the device are 13 inches by 6.75 inches by 3.5 inches, a very compact piece of advanced machinery that was no doubt from the later stages in a long developmental period of previous designs. That such a highly developed precision device was one of a kind would be very unlikely, although no similar devices have ever been found, or if they have, they remain unreported and hidden away in private collections.
The device is inscribed with over two thousand characters, most of which remain to be deciphered. No further information on this seems to be available at this point, but the fact that these characters are not easily decipherable, even after so many years, suggests that they are of an entirely unknown language. If this is the case, it lends great weight to the possibility that a once great civilization of some technological advancement existed previously to our own, but which seems to have all but disappeared from the face of the Earth.
Where this device originated from is unknown, and how it came to be on this Roman ship is equally uncertain. The only possible clue comes from the writings of the Roman statesman Cicero, who mentions that a similar sort of device was brought beck from Syracuse after it’s ransacking. If it is the same device, then how it might have arrived in Syracuse is not known. Whatever the case, this was a precision mechanical device, both in workmanship and in accuracy, and was completely out of place for the period of time to which it can be traced. The only explanation that seems at all reasonable is that whoever placed it on that Roman ship had also found it, and that it actually stemmed from a much earlier age.
Another mystery about our distant past involves a number of ancient maps that have been brought to light over the years that show a very accurate representation of the land masses and oceans of our planet that some say could not have been so accurate unless the Earth was able to be viewed from a very high elevation, such as from an airplane or space craft. Whether or not this might be necessary, these maps reveal that the seas had been extensively navigated and coastlines mapped long before our history books tell us they were.
Probably the most well known of these maps is referred to as the Piri Reis map, dating back to 1513 and bearing an inscription that stated it was pieced together from a number of much older maps. This map represents a technological achievement that had remained unsurpassed until the twentieth century.
The Piri Reis map derives from a number of rare maps that were captured by an Admiral Reis of the Turkish navy from a Spanish sailor during a naval battle in 1501. The sailor was one of Columbus’ men, so he claimed, and Columbus had used the maps to reach the Americas. Columbus is said to have copied the maps from a book that dated back to the time of Alexander the Great. How did Columbus come into possession of this book? The fact that Columbus was either a member of the Knights Templar or was otherwise financed by them is revealed by the fact that he sailed the Templar flag on his ships – a red cross on a white background (later to be incorporated by the international Red Cross Society). The Templars were a secret society that wielded an immense amount of power in those days, and it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to believe that they had acquired such maps during one of their many exploits.
How were these ancient maps able to be drawn so accurately, if not with some method of aerial observation? Who could have drawn the older maps that the Piri Reis map was based on? Clearly, these maps indicate that a much older civilization existed on Earth at some time in the far past, and that it was advanced enough to build some sort of flying craft, or had some other means to accurately survey a large portion of the Earth’s coastlines. There is simply no other way to explain how these maps could have been so accurately drawn. Historians say that we didn’t begin to explore the open oceans until around the time of Columbus, but the Piri Reis map seems to prove otherwise.
The Piri Reis map depicts the entire continent of South America, accurately showing two large rivers on the eastern coast and a mountain chain along the western coast. Supposedly, none of these features were known about in 1513.
Even more remarkable is the depiction of Antarctica, which is accurately drawn as it would appear without its ice covering, which is a virtual impossibility, unless the maps that were used to create the Piri Reis map stemmed from a very ancient time when no ice covered this continent. The map accurately shows Antarctica’s mountain ranges, bays, gulfs, rivers, etc. Antarctica wasn’t even discovered until 1818, and it wasn’t until 1949 that sonar readings were taken through the ice to reveal any of the continent’s ice-covered coastline. Some sources state that the last warm spell at the southern pole in which it could have been iceless was from about 13,000 BC to about 4,000 BC. This is further evidence that what we think we know about our ancient past is completely wrong. This does not, however, conflict with the other time-lines presented within these pages, all of which support the idea that a major cataclysm occurred at or before 10,000 BC that changed the face of the planet and scattered its surviving inhabitants far and wide.
Tests conducted by Professor Charles H. Hapgood revealed that the original mapmakers knew how to determine longitude, which our own early seafarers didn’t know how to do until as late as 1760 AD. The Piri Reis map, with Egypt at its center, shows increasing distortion and elongation of the southern continents, which is exactly how the Earth would look from space if one were directly over Egypt. When this map is overlaid with US Air Force maps, key reference points line up perfectly, being all but identical in their plotted positions.
We might ask ourselves why these earlier maps were made at all, if we weren’t even sailing on the open seas until less than a century before the time that the Piri Reis map was put together. Christopher Columbus first ventured across the Atlantic only twenty-one years prior to the creation of the Piri Reis map, and at least as far as is commonly believed, he had to navigate blindly without the aid of maps. Whether or not the Piri Reis map actually derived from maps in Columbus’ possession, where did these older, accurately drawn maps come from? It seems that these older maps must have originated from an earlier people who once had the technological capability for global travel by both sea and air. The question of whether Columbus actually had similar maps that he used on his voyage to the Americas is not at all unlikely, considering that he was working for a very powerful group who had access to certain secret and rare knowledge that the public has always been kept completely ignorant of.
In fact, there is a great deal of evidence to show that our ancient ancestors were plying the seas long before Columbus. On his second voyage to the New World, Columbus himself recorded finding the wreck of a European ship in the French West Indies. In 1961, Roman jewelry was discovered in graves near Mexico City, and a ceramic jar filled with ancient Roman coins was found in Venezuela. In 1976, Roman clay wine vessels dating to the second century AD were found near shipwrecks off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, and a Carthaginian shipwreck was found off the coast of Honduras in 1972. A stone with Phoenician inscriptions on it was found in Brazil in 1872, which records how a Phoenician ship was blown off coarse while circumnavigating Africa. Other inscriptions in ancient Hebrew have been found near Las Lunas, New Mexico, supposedly telling of their voyage and settlement.
From all of this physical evidence of ancient seafarers landing in the New World, we can see that the oceans were perhaps more populated with seafarers in ancient times than is commonly believed. It appears that ancient maps, perhaps deriving from a once-great civilization from prehistoric times, have been in the possession of certain secret groups since at least Columbus’ time, but for probably much longer. These maps were apparently used by early explorers as they set out to conquer the New World only a few centuries ago, and they had undoubtedly also been used in earlier times as well. There is very little evidence to support the suggestion that the originals of these ancient maps were created within our own historical time, since there was an ice age that lasted for over 100,000 years immediately prior to our first known civilizations, which would have drastically altered and hidden the shape of landmasses during that time, the only conceivable way that these maps could have come to us is from a prehistoric civilization or from an extraterrestrial source.
The Crystal Skull
In 1924, an archeological dig in Lubaantun, British Honduras (now Belize), conducted by Frederick Mitchell-Hedges, uncovered a life-size human skull made of pure natural quartz crystal. The actual find was made by Frederick’s seventeen-year-old daughter Anna, who later inherited the artifact from her father after his death and kept it in her home in Canada where she lived. At the time of its discovery, a native priest from the area claimed that it was over 100,000 years old, and that it could be made to talk. Furthermore, it’s said to be encoded with sacred knowledge, and can be used to see into the past, present, and future.
Although perhaps not a technological artifact in as strict a sense as the Antikythera astrolabe or the Baghdad battery, due to the fact that it may be nothing more than an ornamental piece of artwork, this crystal skull can still be regarded as an artifact of technological achievement by its very manufacture, as the following review will attest.
Quartz crystal specialists working at the Hewlett Packard computer laboratories in California tested the skull, and these tests resulted in some startling conclusions. It was found that the skull is composed of absolutely pure, naturally occurring quartz crystal, rather than any type of artificial quartz, like that produced at the Hewlett Packard site. One test that revealed this purity was performed by immersing the skull in a glass chamber filled with a benzyl alcohol solution of exactly the same density and refractive index as pure quartz. This method is commonly used to test the purity of quartz crystals and to look for fractures. When this test was performed on the skull, it seemed to disappear completely within the solution, attesting to its purity.
Pure quartz crystal is one of the hardest substances on Earth, only slightly softer than diamond. This means that such a crystal is very difficult to carve, and has a tendency to shatter. It was concluded by the research team at Hewlett Packard that it would be almost impossible to have carved the skull using any known type of diamond-tipped tool.
Under extreme magnification, no evidence of modern tool markings could be found on its surface, as would be the case if it had been carved. The only assumption that could be drawn by the team of scientists regarding its creation was that it must have been carved and rubbed down by hand over a period of approximately three hundred man-years of continuous labor, and the care that would have had to be taken would have been phenomenal. Any fracture existing in the original block of quartz would have been unknown at the start of the skull’s creation, and would have eventually destroyed their laborious efforts, requiring its makers to start all over from scratch. Even in the rubbing and polishing of the crystal, which would require finer and finer grades of sand, if just one oversized grain had accidentally fallen in with the finer grades, it would have destroyed the skull’s otherwise perfect surface.
It was also discovered by the scientific team that this skull was made from piezoelectric silicon dioxide. This type of crystal offers certain electrical properties, and although how they might be put to use with this artifact, or even that they were, is not certain, but as I have already mentioned, there is reason to believe that electricity was both known about and used in times long past.
That this crystal skull, which is made out of pure natural crystal of absolutely flawless quality, and which is of such magnificent manufacture that cannot be easily duplicated even by today’s standards, leads to the conclusion that it must have originated with an advanced civilization that we don’t know about. It’s quite certain that this skull did not originate with the early natives who are believed to have built the temples that it was found in. As was indicated earlier, however, the native priests of that area seem to have some knowledge of the skull’s very ancient origins, as do other native peoples in North and Central America, who all have legends that say that thirteen such skulls exist, and that when all thirteen are brought together, a new age will begin. With the appearance of this crystal skull, that new age is believed to be imminent.
Further mysteries surrounding this skull are known to exist, but they will have to be left from our discussion due to space. However, the connection that this skull apparently has to the ancient legends of different native peoples should be noted, and we’ll look at some of the legends surrounding the origins of these peoples in the next part of this book.
The Aztec Calendar Stone
The Aztec Calendar Stone represents an astrological calendar system that was used by the early cultures of Mesoamerica, including the Olmecs, the Maya, and the Aztecs. This megalithic stone was once mounted atop the Great Pyramid at Tenochtitlan, until it was toppled by the conquering Spaniards when they arrived at this city. Although it has seen much abuse, it still reveals the detail of its carved face, which consists of concentric rings divided into a series of symbolic glyphs that together form an intricate calendar system that is incredibly precise and far-ranging. But this stone was not so much a calendar to the Aztecs as it was a sort of almanac and an astrological divination tool. It was mounted atop the pyramid in this city so that all the people could see it and refer to it for guidance in their daily affairs.
Although this twenty-four ton, thirteen and a half foot tall artifact is only a stone representation, it cannot be denied upon seeing it that it appears very much like a cogged wheel mechanism. The first five rings, starting from the outside, are filled with mathematical notations within each of their calendrical divisions. The inner rings also have a number of markers that point to the various divisions on the outer rings. These concentric rings, if they could turn independently of each other, could have been used to calculate various alignments and measurements. It is very possible that this stone was a representation of an actual mechanical device that was once used by the ancients. Since the calendar system that it incorporates has been found to stem back to the first cultures of Mesoamerica, and all of those cultures who used it claim to have been given their knowledge by the god Quetzalcoatl/Kukulcan, who came from an earlier civilization in prehistory, this Calendar Stone may have been a depiction of a mechanism that originated with Atlantis or Lemuria. We will consider the plausibility of this further in the pages ahead.
The Aztec Calendar Stone is perhaps best understood in relation to the Mayan calendar, from which its design is borrowed. Although having actually originated with the earlier Olmec culture, the Maya have come to be recognized today for the calendar systems that they used, particularly the one referred to as the ‘Long Count’, which marks the end of its cycle on December 21st, 2012. Apart from this calendar, they had two other calendar systems, called the ‘Tzolkin’ (divine calendar) and the ‘Haab’ (civil calendar).
The Tzolkin calendar related to their day-to-day activities. This calendar was divided into twenty-day segments that were each given distinct names, and also used the numbers 1 through 13 in combination with these segments, with each combination between them defining certain unique attributes that made this calendar a valuable tool of the shamen-priests in their divining practices. The Haab calendar was more useful to the greater population in their daily activities, and was divided into eighteen months of twenty days each, with an added short month of five days, making up a total count of 365 days. Together, these two calendars comprised what is known as the ‘Calendar Round’, a fifty-two year cycle that repeated each unique combination of month names and numbers between the two calendars only once.
The Long Count calendar is divided into thirteen ‘baktuns’ for a total of 5,125 years. The current cycle of this calendar began on the Mayan creation date of August 13th, 3114 BC, and ends on December 21st, 2012. It is known by our modern scientists that on that day, the plane of our solar system will come into perfect alignment with the plane of the Milky Way’s galactic center. What sort of cosmic event this might result in is not known, and there may be nothing at all momentous about it for us to witness, but many, including the Maya, believe that it will be a major turning point on Earth in more ways than just the end of a calendar count, and it’s even believed (and recorded in many ancient Mesoamerican legends) that major planetary upheavals will occur, and the gods will return.
Probably the most remarkable thing about this Calendar Stone is the level of astronomical knowledge that it represents. It would have been impossible for these otherwise primitive cultures to acquire the knowledge of the full galactic cycle that is measured within these calendar systems. We will consider this in more detail in a later part of this book, when we look at the origins of astrology and it’s significance to the past. However, we should wonder about the effects that planets and stars may actually have on our affairs here on Earth, and on the power that certain alignments and configurations between them might actually have in affecting certain outcomes. This Calendar Stone is a monument to that power, which was something that was believed in by whatever highly advanced civilization bequeathed this knowledge on the early peoples of Mesoamerica.
As we’ll see further within these pages, there are certain subtle energies in the universe that the ancients were quite familiar with but which we no longer commonly recognize, and these energies were incorporated into their sciences, which are today relegated to such occult practices as astrology, geomancy, etc. Perhaps the alignment of our solar system with the galactic center on December 21st, 2012 – a date that is highlighted on this Calendar Stone – will cause an overwhelming surge of certain energies - electromagnetic, gravitational, or otherwise – that will cause great changes on this planet, which seem to have marked the beginning of our human history and the end of a previous one, and has been recorded as such by many of our earliest cultures around the world.