Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Riddle of Baghdad's Battery

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the three-bars-on-baghdad's-cell-phone dept.

Science 1808

Jodrell writes "The BBC has an interesting article about a 2,200 year old battery discovered in Iraq in 1938. It is basically a clay pot containing a copper/iron core immersed in an electrolye solution (probably acidic vinegar). The article talks about how this priceless artifact as well as many others, from the same civilisation that invented writing and the wheel, could be threatened by the impending war."

cancel ×

1808 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Mister Rogers dead at 74 :-( (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396431)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - TV personality Mister Rogers was found dead in his
Pennsylvania home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot
community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

No! (5, Funny)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396433)

It's not a battery! It's a chemical weapon! Call Hans Blix!

Re:No! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396533)

George: "Tony, Tony, hurry, we found one"
Tony: "Yes georgie, I have my thumb already on the button"
George: "Shouldn't we first ring our friends and allies"
Tony: "Huh, do we have some?"

Sorry, but I'm just so fed up with those two...

Priorities (2, Insightful)

vicviper (140480) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396438)

Some would say that removing Saddam is more important than any priceless artifacts.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396465)

Others would say that removing those who say such things is more important than removing Saddam.

Re:Priorities (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396473)

Some would say removing George Dubbyah is more important than removing Saddam! ;)

Removing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396559)

Regime change begins at home.

Re:Priorities (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396485)

Some would say that removing one dictator, while propping up others, is hypocrite.

Re:Priorities (2, Insightful)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396489)

Some would say it's not.

Re:Priorities (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396496)

Some would also realize that removing Saddam is the best way to preserve these artifacts. He would not hesistate to place military equipment right next to a archaelogical site just like he would put them next to a hospital.

Re:Priorities (1, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396514)

Yes, those "some" would be the ones willing to send other people to die in order to gain controll of the Iraqi oil fields. Money money money...

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396592)

Yeah. Thank god there are some people who realize that saving hundreds of lives is more important than saving pottery. Of course, the White House has come out to say that it would make every effort to prevent that from happening anyway. This was actually covered in a US News World and Reports article a few weeks back. It told about how little Saddam cared about the artificacts and that the only way to save them would be to free Iraq from its oppresors.

Re:Priorities (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396639)

Indeed, however the BBC in its "anti-establishment" remit creates anti-whatever propaganda depending on the season, phase of the moon, football results and price of tea in China. It's just the way the BBC is. For all its faults, it's quite a good public service, however, it does have its faults.

Perhaps Bush should install democracy in.. (-1, Flamebait)

composer777 (175489) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396650)

the US first.

Enough said.

Jared Returns!!! Mod up! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396447)

Welcome back Subway lovers!!! Stay tuned for more of Jared's exploits, same time next week. And remember, Troll Tuesday is never more than a week away!



The Adventures of Jared, Vol. 1: A Cautionary Tale


It was a balmy 70 degree day as Jared Fogel stepped out of his small corner apartment and headed down to his local Subway (store #16977) for the weekly Troll Tuesday special. Jared had every reason to be happy: his toll-free hotline was open 24 hours a day, and his "Army" of former fatties, culled from the ranks of those who had lost over 100 pounds at Subway, dispensed justice with an iron hand. The days of irate customers and devious managers subverting the ideals of Subway for their own nefarious reasons were long since gone. Now he and every registered Slashdot user could have the satisfaction of ordering a sub, loaded with succulent fresh vegetables and hearty meats and cheeses, for the low price of only $3.49 every Tuesday. The friendly Subway staff knew that Jared always ordered a 6" turkey sub and a bag of baked chips for lunch, and a 12" veggie sub for dinner, with extra veggies and no cheese, oil or mayo.


Upon walking into the store, however, Jared suspected that something was amiss. The formerly bustling lunch line had dwindled to just a few people, and there was not a single teenaged slacker or wandering vagrant to be seen. The potato chip rack was empty, chairs and tables were scattered haphazardly around, and there was an odd stench in the air not unlike a motherboard stuffed inside a dirty gym bag. Sudenly, his worst suspicions were confirmed as he heard the muffled grunting and snickering coming from the small crowd assembled in front of the counter. Jared's eyes widened in horror as he beheld no less than 12 filthy bisexual Linux hackers, ALL with their pants around their ankles, engaged in a man-train gangbang front of his beloved lunch counter! Suddenly one of the deviants spotted Jared standing in the doorway. "FRESH MEAT!!!" he yelled as he and his entourage stumbled, giggling and farting, toward the horrified customer. Quivering with rage, Jared quickly grabbed the soda machine and, with superhuman strength, toppled it onto the pack of leering perverts. With a muffled crunch, the 500-pound soda machine rolled over the unsuspecting hackers, crushing them under its massive bulk. After a quick trip to the dumpster to dispose of the remains, Jared hosed the bloodstains off the floor and opened the windows to air out the stench of sweat and freshly soldered video card that still lingered in the air. Soon the local Subway branch was filled once again with happy customers.


Sadly, not all stories have a happy ending, and the fact of the matter is that most cases of GNU/Linux use end in tragedy. Scientific studies show that Linux has been linked to illegal drug use, pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, nymphomania, and venereal disease. If you or any of your loved ones has been experimenting with this lifestyle, encourage them to seek help NOW, rather than suffer the heartbreak of watching them slowly but inexorably turn into an unwashed, effeminate GNU hippie in a pink t-shirt. The time to act is now, not later. The beginnings of Open Source advocacy must be stamped out early before they have time to develop into something far worse. You have been warned.

Not the "same civilization" (3, Interesting)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396454)

Read some history. Iraq is not populated today by the same peoples that invented this device or "discovered the wheel" as you say thousands of years ago. The Islamic faith and the migrations of Arabic peoples into historically Persian regions over time has erased the cultural legacy of these peoples you refer to.

Re:Not the "same civilization" (4, Insightful)

Wateshay (122749) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396494)

I don't think it was saying they were. What it was saying was that the same people who invented the wheel and writing also invented this battery.

Re:Not the "same civilization" (1)

niker (593109) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396504)

that invented this device or "discovered the wheel"
Actually, the wheel was invented

Re:Not the "same civilization" (2, Interesting)

ElGuapoGolf (600734) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396506)

This may be true, but it's still part of the region's collective culture.

You could say the same for Egypt, except they care for and maintain the pyramids and their heritage. Why should the people of Iraq be denied the same?

Re:Not the "same civilization" (1)

Amoeba Protozoa (15911) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396539)

I don't know why this got modded up... I think the article poster is saying the civilization that invented invented the 2,200 year old battery and the civilization that invented writing and the wheel are the same.

If this is the case (and I believe it is), then I do believe they are correct!

-AP

Re:Not the "same civilization" (3, Informative)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396542)

The same is true, of course, of England, and Spain, and Germany, and America (North and South). The Christian faith and the migrations of Roman, Germanic, and British people erased the cultural legacies of the peoples there.

Re:Not the "same civilization" (4, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396587)

They didn't say they were.

The article talks about how this priceless artifact as well as many others, from the same civilisation that invented writing and the wheel, could be threatened by the impending war.

They say specifically that the artifacts are in danger from the war, not the civilization. Nowhere do they imply that the civilization that created them is the same culture that inhabits Iraq now.

Re:Not the "same civilization" (0, Flamebait)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396590)

Suuuuure...since the people living there are not the exact descendants of those that created the artifacts, bombing the shit out of them (the people and the archeological sites) is A-OK!

The cultural legacy hasn't been erased, its been buried. They could still be dug out...or destroyed by the vultures who thirst for blood and oil.

But who cares about culture and history...those SUVs are getting expensive to drive...kill a few iraqis so the price of gas will go down already, huh?

Sigh...

Read the post! (1)

Brown (36659) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396624)

Noone ever said it was the 'same civilisation' as the current (Arab) population; all it says is that the battery was invented by the same folks as invented the wheel and writing, and that the artifacts left by these prior occupants are threatened by the impending war. Not the originating civilisation.

- Chris

Some (1)

r_arr (613036) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396457)

Would say that prserving artifacts is also important to our culture.

Priceless? I'll give you two-fifty. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396458)

See? No longer priceless.
There are no problems, only solutions.

can't resist (5, Funny)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396461)

Still going...

*Bunny marches by...* *thump thump thump*

Re:can't resist (1)

markr (83864) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396615)

It's probably another Rimbaldi artifact. Sark will come steal it real soon now...

Our lack of history preservation is apalling (1, Interesting)

gozar (39392) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396463)

Think back when Al Queada destroyed the Buddhist monuments in Afganistan, where was the public outrage then?

Unfortunately, everytime I see some ground breaking artifact that gains new insight, I think of Futurama, and how 1,000 years from now ancient artifacts will show us that whalers were on the moon...

Re:Our lack of history preservation is apalling (2, Informative)

monkey_tennis (649997) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396495)

It wasn't Al Queada - it was the Tailban.

The Taliban supported/allowed (seperate discussion) Al Queada activity in Afganistan, but they're not the same thing.

Re:Our lack of history preservation is apalling (1)

Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396602)

Other way around. Al-Qaeda is unique among terrorist organizations in that its high funding levels allowed it to pay to support the Taliban regime.

Re:Our lack of history preservation is apalling (0)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396507)

taliban, not al-qaeda, destroyed the buddhas.

but ignore the facts, bomb iraq!!!

Re:Our lack of history preservation is apalling (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396528)

You mean when the Taliban destroyed the Buddhist monuments? Where was the outrage? Actually I think you'll find it <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/stor y/0,3604,445855,00.html">here</a>, <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/ 1165983.stm">here</a> and <a href="http://news.sawaal.com/02-Mar-2001/National/ 40.htm">here</a> or are many other hundreds of places.

To quote one article:

"The Indian Government and the international community have expressed concern over Afghanistan's fundamentalist Taliban regime's decision to destroy all Buddhist statues, describing it as an absolute outrage."

Perhaps you weren't watching/reading any good news channels/articles at the time?

Re:Our lack of history preservation is apalling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396558)

Messed up the formatting of the links, my mistake.

Re:Our lack of history preservation is apalling (3, Informative)

jweatherley (457715) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396628)

Fixed them for you

You mean when the Taliban destroyed the Buddhist monuments? Where was the outrage? Actually I think you'll find it here [guardian.co.uk] , here [bbc.co.uk] and here [sawaal.com] or are many other hundreds of places.

Re:Our lack of history preservation is apalling (1)

stinky wizzleteats (552063) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396567)

Think back when Al Queada destroyed the Buddhist monuments in Afganistan, where was the public outrage then?

Well, Taliban actually, but that detail doesn't impact your point. Goddam straight.

The answer, of course, is an exercise in the double standarad of political correctness, which is why the peace protesters et. al. have absolutely no moral foundation for their arguments, to say nothing of credibility.

Re:Our lack of history preservation is apalling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396591)

It was OK back then, because it was the (generally foreign) Taliban killing and oppressing all of Afghanistan and destroying all non-Islamic culture. Some might see that as "imperialistic."

Many people aren't outraged about what would actually happen in a war with Iraq (see 'blood for oil' and frequent references to bombing the country back to the stone age), they're just anti-Bush and/or anti-US, and throwing out any argument that aligns with their position, regardless of merit. It's for oil! (even though we've left it alone all this time and could have taken Venezuela's easily in the recent turmoil). It's racist! (even though we are supported by people of the same race and leaving many of them alone).

Is the war justified? I'm not convinced, but you goddamned hippies need to quit bullshitting people about the situation.

Re:Our lack of history preservation is apalling (3, Interesting)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396596)

Um, the public outrage was just about everywhere, as I recall. I was certainly outraged.

Interestingly enough, the Dalai Lama called for restraint after the fact, saying that despite their great historical value, they were only statues - and the impermanence of things is central to Buddhist doctrine.

Re:Our lack of history preservation is apalling (1)

cryptochrome (303529) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396600)

Public outrage was present and making a big fuss about it. However only the Taliban had any real say in the situation, and they blew them up with dynamite. The difference here is, if these artifacts are destroyed, it will be American bombers (AKA foreigners, us) that will be destroying priceless artifacts.

Your memory about recent history is appalling (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396633)

a) It was the Taliban government that destroyed the monuments, not Al-Queada. Though very strongly connected, not the same thing.

b) There was quite a bit of public outrage against the destruction. In fact it was disconcerting to some that there was so much outrage over the destruction of giant statues and so little over the repression of women under the Taliban (couldn't work, couldn't leave home, couldn't be educated, couldn't go to doctors).

Wow the US won't have a chance (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396464)

defeating such an advanced civilization like Iraq. I mean they invented batteries, the wheel and writing. George W better reconsider.

eletroplating (1)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396466)

Like the article suggests, I'll bet it's for electroplating. Now we need to look for a bunch of copper core gold-plated jewelry in the area . . . some con artist must have been rich.

Re:eletroplating (1)

jmccay (70985) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396635)

Egypt had batteries too. I remember watching a show in which they poved this based on some of the pictures in the tombs. It was used with a primitive type of light bulb.

The big picture... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396468)

Yeah, yeah, whaaaaaaaaaaaatever. All I needs is enough gas to fill my 4WD F350. It's got *four* wheels, so we'll still have a point of reference even it the prototype gets vaporized.

... it keeps going... and going... (-1, Redundant)

Artful Codger (245847) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396469)

Was there an image of a pink drum-playing bunny on the jar?

I think I have one of these (2, Funny)

spakka (606417) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396470)

in my Nokia 8210

Well duh. (1, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396474)


How else would they power their vibrators back then? Camels on treadmills? Sheesh..

2,200 year old battery?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396475)

Iraq are powering missiles sith a 2,200 year old battery??

If I were them, I put in a nice safe museum...

Earliest Energizer? (-1, Redundant)

LordYUK (552359) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396478)

So, did anyone find the remains of a pink bunny and a rusted drum nearby?

battery??? (0, Funny)

betamaxV2.1 (609267) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396482)

i just have one question. how can you call this a battery? correct me if i am wrong but it wasnt until the 1700's that humans discovered electricity and began trying to control it and use it.

this priceless artifact sounds more like someone droped a spoon or fork into a bottle of vinegar and forgot to take it out until a couple of mellinia later.

Re:battery??? (-1, Troll)

mobilederg (639693) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396548)

You sir, are an Idiot

Re:battery??? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396555)

Its a battery because it produced electricty you muppet.

Re:battery??? (5, Insightful)

aridhol (112307) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396571)

It wasn't until the 1700's that Western civilization documented the discovery of electricity. There are many civilizations more mature than the West, especially at that time. They all had their own discoveries that surpassed ours.

Just because the Europeans hadn't heard of electricity doesn't mean it wasn't known elsewhere.

Re:battery??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396605)

You need to check your history. Electroplating FAR predates the 1700's. Probably originated as a 'temple miracle," and managed to be lost and rediscovered a few times down the road, but....

Re:battery??? (5, Informative)

gorilla (36491) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396648)

No. Electricity was first described by ThalesofMiletus around 600 BCE. He polished amber with fur, to produce static electricity, and this is where we get the word 'electricity' from, from the greek word for Amber.

Re:battery??? (1)

monkey_tennis (649997) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396659)

Like the article says...

Many inventions are conceived before the underlying principles are properly understood.

The Chinese invented gunpowder long before the principles of combustion were deduced, and the rediscovery of old herbal medicines is now a common occurrence.

You do not always have to understand why something works - just that it does.

Discovery can happen by accident as well as by understanding :)

Re:battery??? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396660)

how can you call this a battery?

Because it is a battery.

correct me if i am wrong but it wasnt until the 1700's that humans discovered electricity

You're wrong. Clearly, electricity was being generated by man made means before the 1700's. Even if the people generating it didn't know what it was. Consider yourself corrected.

this priceless artifact sounds more like someone droped a spoon or fork into a bottle of vinegar

Yeah. Especially if the spoon happened to be a rod of iron surrounded by a cylinder of copper. And the person who dropped this oddly designed spoon in the jar then sealed it in with asphalt. Exactly like you describe, incredible!

In future, try clicking on those green bits of text with the line drawn under them. They're called links. Then read the words on the page. Thats called the article.

Don't we have moe important things to worry about? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396483)

Don't get me wrong, I think the old battery is neat.

HOWEVER

I think it's really sad that "what about the battery" is even considered a worhty concern in the war issue. Regardless of your side on the issue there are peoples lives involved here. Hawks you're concerned about the threat to American lives, and doves tend to be concerned about the threat to the Iraqi people's lives.

Either way, concerns about an old clay pot seem to pale in comparison

Re:Don't we have moe important things to worry abo (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396632)

Noone wasted time worrying about the art and archaeological treasures in Holland, France or Germany when they liberated Europe from Hitler.

With todays much more precise technology, it's unlikely that archaeological sites would be affected at all.

Pah! battery shmattery! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396488)

I've got a 4.2 million year old 4.1GHz Pentium VI Xeon.

What? (2, Insightful)

stinky wizzleteats (552063) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396490)

The article talks about how this priceless artifact as well as many others, from the same civilisation that invented writing and the wheel, could be threatened by the impending war.

And I suppose the artifacts never had anything to fear from Iraq being run by an expansionist, sadistic madman who is known to do things such as setting whole oil fields on fire.

Sorry. I looked everywhere for guilt, but just couldn't find any.

Which is better? (2, Interesting)

stevens (84346) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396491)

So we either (possibly) lose some priceless artifacts, or we lose priceless lives when the next terrorist strike comes.

I know which one is more important. Do you?

Re:Which is better? (1)

doppleganger871 (303020) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396521)

I don't think thousands of lives are worth the price of a stupid clay pot. Great, they found a pot, it was made of this and that and has this stuff in it. Great, now we know. Now blow it up.

War called on account of old battery (1)

Mothra the III (631161) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396538)

Agreed. Anyway, how many priceless artifacts have been destroyed by the massive tunneling the Iraqis have done to hide weapons. I am sure that preserving antiquities was not their highest priority.

Re:Which is better? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396581)

Wow, you really think attacking Iraq will help fight terrorism?

Think about it like this: I certainly acknowledge that Saddam is a "bad man" and it'd be nice to get rid of him. However, what is the cost? And I'm not talking about the military cost: it'd be pretty minimal, seeing as how our military is huge and all. I'm talking about the political outfall.

Look at Pakistan and India. That would likely destabilize. Look at Russia and Checnya. If the US goes to a preemptive war Russia might use the same excuse. And look at this whole damned East-vs-West Judaeo-Christian-vs-Islam conflict. It's already pretty polarized, and attacking Iraq would just make it worse.

And let's also look at the justification we have for attacking Iraq. They might have "weapons of mass destruction". Now ignore the great hypocrisy about what that makes us (seeing as how we are the world's greatest manufacturer, supplier and possessor of weapons of all sorts), and there's still a problem. That is, either they have these weapons or they don't. If they don't, then no sweat. If they do, then attacking them will just provoke them into using it, likely either on US troops in the region or Israel (the closest convenient target).

Sometimes I think that people like Ashcroft are just using their power to play out their own fundamentalist fantasies, a la this Chick strip:

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1000/1000_01 .a sp

It's a fact! (0, Troll)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396497)

Only terrorists and megalomaniacs use batteries! Bomb Iraq! Lynch the Energizer bunny! FREEEDOOOM!!!

Wow (0, Flamebait)

Kshu (608394) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396501)

So that's why the French refuse to help, hah? They need batteries...!?!

Re:Wow (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396656)

The French refuse to help because they're a bunch of spineless fools who are quite happy for people to save their arses when they're in trouble but don't want to get involved in anything that may upset the multiple defense contracts they have in the middle east.

They will need that thing (-1, Flamebait)

automag_6 (540022) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396502)

Becase when the US inevitably bombs them, there is only one way to do it. You don't bomb someone till they agree, you don't bomb someone till they surrender, you don't bomb somone till they cry mercy. The only way to bomb someone is, back to the stone age. Once they are sufficiently bombed back to the stone age, they will view such a thing as magic. Belive me folks, they'll need that kind of 'artifact'.

Bunch of bastards (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396513)

Oh my god... the BBC is anti-American as hell, and so is Slashdot. Did you hear about the protests in the UK as a result of the BBC's anti-American reporting? Now they're coming up with ways in which the war will impact Iraq. Like the destruction of a 2200 year old artifact is more important than the liberation of millions of Iraqis. God dam brits.

Re:Bunch of bastards (1)

borgdows (599861) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396557)

oops... I must be tired, instead of than the liberation of millions of Iraqis, I've read "than the liberation of millions of oil barrils"

Re:Bunch of bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396651)

It's funny that you mention this... given that FRANCE HAS HUGE OIL INTERESTS IN IRAQ. Do you need me to repeat that. I said FRANCE HAS HUGE OIL INTERESTS IN IRAQ. In fact, you might say that their opposition to the war is due them losing $Billions in oil investments. Of course they would have you believe otherwise, and it isn't being widely reporting, since the media is anti-war. But check it out--it's true.

Besides, if the US really wanted Iraqi oil, they could just lift the trade embargos. Much, much simpler, a lot less costly, and bloodless.

This "its all about oil" argument is a complete liberal cop-out. They can't come up with a real argument so they say it's all about oil. Equivalent to name-calling.

The real find... (4, Funny)

Goody (23843) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396519)

was the big stone-carved vibrator that went with it...

Just another example (1, Flamebait)

SN74S181 (581549) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396522)

This is just another example of why aggressive archaelology is generally a bad thing. Archaeologists, whose real aim is to 'advance science' which just so happens to translate into not ever having to leave academia and get a job, make it their aim to uproot and document everything.

Once all the evidence and traces, which happened to have survived all the years for various reasons, is housed in steel and glass buildings, we can be assured that within a few generations it'll be reduced to dust.

Two hundred years from now when they've perfected some sort of x-ray telemetry measurement and can 'view' tombs without doing anything at all to disturb their contents, there won't be any tombs left undisturbed.

But Johnny won't have had to go out and get a job after graduating. He's got tenure now.

Religion kills Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396525)

If it were not for their fundamentalist Islamic beliefs for the last 2,000 years, they would not be wallowing in their own feces at the bottom of the intellectual food chain. Nothing kills a culture's intellectual potential than the fantatical devotion to invisible people living in the clouds. Imagine the potential of man that has been wasted because of his fear of death and the need to soothe that fear with belief in myths and fairly tales.

Oh yea, Joseph, its not your kid but don't worry, I'm still a virgin because "The Holy Spirit" hit it, not your brother...

Re:Religion kills Science (2, Informative)

borgdows (599861) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396593)

actually, Iraq is a laic state!
there is christians and muslims living together in Iraq! hell even Iraqi's prime minister (Tarek Aziz) is christian..

Iraq is not Saudi Arabia!

I can see the headlines now (5, Funny)

grimsweep (578372) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396532)

WASHINGTON, D.C.- President Bush has made the announcement today of an addition to the collection of evidence to make war with Iraq. "It's clear that this battery was used to power some sort of destructive device, and we're certain Sadaam's ancestors were a part of it," stated the commander-in-chief in a press conference yesterday.

Subsequently, the defense department has changed Homeland Security status to Condition Copper, indicating a potentially shocking situation.

Religious Ideology of the Time? (3, Insightful)

VitrosChemistryAnaly (616952) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396541)

The article states:
Though this was hard to explain, and did not sit comfortably with the religious ideology of the time, he published his conclusions.

How did identifying it as a battery conflict with religious ideology of the time? I'm truly curious. Any suggestions?

I mean, it couldn't have been because there's no passage saying "And then God invented the battery and said it was good".

Did it confict with the European idea that they were the center of science and religion?

Re:Religious Ideology of the Time? (4, Informative)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396645)

Did it confict with the European idea that they were the center of science and religion?

Actually, in a roundabout way, you are on the right track. One of the tenets of Orientalism is that Oriental cultures by definition are degenerate and in decline. Occidental cultures are, in contrast, always progressive, especially after the 14th Century CE. Occidental cultures are all European countries and their descendant cultures that are ruled by people who have European origins -- a notable exception being Slavs. So, the point is because this supposed technology rose from an Oriental culture it is either the product of interaction with ascendant Occidental culture or an anamoly. In either case, it must be erased. See Richard Perle and Wolfowitz for the contemporary personification of academics who think this way. It's called "the colonizer's model of the world."

same civilization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396550)

that's quasi-oxymoronical.. :)

Saddam wasn't too concerned about artifacts.... (4, Interesting)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396554)

...when he invaded Kuwait in 1990 and his soldiers ransacked the museums:

http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/sanction/ir aq 1/000801a.htm

Tom

Created civilization? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396563)

This is the country that created civilization? Is that why they feel like they can destroy it too?

The Riddle Of My Plumbing Battery (4, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396566)

Under the right circumstances, ordinary pieces of metal (like plumbing) exposed to acid can make "batteries" by chance. More intriguing is the "un batteried" iron obelisk I recall hearing about in India--an iron monument that has resisted rusting for hundreds of years.

I think it's likely that the ancients put some vinegar in this metal container, discovered that it corroded badly, and threw it away.

Of course we can't rule out that they knew something about electricity, but I think we need some clay tablets describing the use of electric devices to confirm it before we can say "ancient battery" with confidence.

Quick - Call Jennifer Garner!! (2, Funny)

vizualizr (462581) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396569)

It can't be!! It is!!

Its a precious Rimbaldi artifact. Its part of a weapon! Send in Jennifer Garner and the CIA goon squad. A little spandex, a red wig, and it will be ours!

Heh. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396574)

I can see it now, Susan Sarandon and the rest of her Hollywood pals will be out pitching this as a reason not to go to war.

The [sic] U.S. just wants to go to war so they can push Energizer, Duracell and Wal-Mart brands on those innocent iraqis who have been building their own batteries since 2,200 years ago!

*snort* Hehe.

(sigh)

Unless That Battery Is Powering A Root Name Server (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396575)

Let it go.....

Wow (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396579)

So that's how Junis was powering his C-64...

Interesting without the politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396584)

This article would have been a lot more interesting if the reporter hadn't of drug his politics into the article. The fact that batteries were being made 2,200 years ago is cool is hell and stands alone as an article. But the reporter insisted on speculating about the war and what it could possibly do, blah, blah, blah. Please, stick to the facts. They are far more interesting.

9 volt battery on the tongue (4, Interesting)

tomzyk (158497) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396603)

And the Greeks kept electric eels in big wading pools and would walk into the water and get zapped. It doesn't mean they knew what electricity was; they just knew it felt cool to get a mild shock.

I don't see how they can assume these are batteries when there is no evidence of wires or mechanical devices that would use the electricity.

A few months ago I saw something on the Discovery Channel talking about all of this. They found similar things (bowls/pots with acid in them) in South America too. They said all of these most likely were for magical purposes (cool shock or possibly even coating/electro-plating jewelry), but not batteries.

Predictions (0, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396606)

1) This artifact and the rest of the Museum of Baghdad will be completely untouched by any US miltary action. (What Saddam does is another matter.)

2) We will never hear another word on this subject from the BBC or anyone else.

I will protect it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396617)

I will be the human sheild that will protect this item. Please, insert it in me bum, and I will prevent damage to it. President Bush would not dare shoot it if it is in me bum.

"Proof" of existence of aliens... (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396627)

If you read Erich Von Däniken's [daniken.com] nonsensical books (Chariot of the gods), you'll find those batteries used to "prove" that aliens visited the Earth in the distant past...

Never mind that since History endlessly repeats itself, technology gets discovered, forgotten and discovered again...

It's not because people worship Pazuzu [uchicago.edu] instead of Jesus H. Fucking Christ [vatican.va] (you know, the god that got nailed) that they are stupid...

Thats nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396637)

I have a 5000 year old generator and a 3000 year old television...

Hot or Not Babes [pajonet.com]

News, ALL the frigin time [pajonet.com]

Dang it (1)

maxbang (598632) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396638)

My family has tried for generations upon generations to keep this sacred battery safe from the clutches of simple men. Now, all is lost. I wonder if I can get rid of this stupid pink bunny birthmark on my ass...

Did that stop hitler? (-1, Flamebait)

ehudokai (585897) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396640)

When hitler was killing off Jews, did we stop and think, "hmmmm I wonder what ancient artifacts and priceless civilization I will be destroying by stopping this crazy man?".

Likewise Saddam is known for torturing his own people, and we shouldn't be quaking in our boots wondering what we MIGHT endanger in preventing the tirant

Hopefully he'll either disarm or go into exhile, but if not I say squash 'em

Europe survived, and so will Iraq

No Wires? (-1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396641)

The article says that they never found any wires. Therefore the only possible use for these things is sticking your tongue on the terminals.

This should solve that little problem: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5396653)

Dear Iraq,
Please move your national treasures and priceless artifacts from all likely bombing areas. Don't worry about moving troops or weaponry, they are fine where they are.

Thanks,

USA

The paranoid in me... (1)

Spytap (143526) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396655)

as well as the Conspiracy nut in me wonders if this IS the reason we're going to war; to hide this and other archeological finds in the area where civilization on a human scale first began...but then again, I could be wrong.

First war? (4, Insightful)

zjbs14 (549864) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396662)

The article talks about how this priceless artifact as well as many others, from the same civilisation that invented writing and the wheel, could be threatened by the impending war.

This is the first war ever fought in the region in the last 2,000 years? Were people concerned about artifacts when Iran and Iraq were blowing the crap out of each other? Were people concerned when Saddam was constructing enormous builings for his personal use?

Perspective... It's not just for breakfast anymore.

Interesting. . . (1)

havardi (122062) | more than 11 years ago | (#5396663)

The war is about oil right? As always Bush wants to capitalize on his own oil business and such. So where does this battery come in? It's obvious Saddam is working on alternative power sources!! Bush is scared shitless that Iraq will harness clean, plentiful energy and begin exporting these advanced clay pot fuelcells!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>