Baghdad battery dating
Contrastingly, others have noted their similarity to conventional storage vessels from the era.And lastly, adding a dash of hullabaloo to the controversial topic, Discovery Channel demonstrated that these ‘jars’ could have been used as batteries to electroplate at least small items.The Baghdad Battery, sometimes referred to as the Parthian Battery, is a clay pot which encapsulates a copper cylinder.Suspended in the center of this cylinder—but not touching it—is an iron rod.The artifact had been exposed to the weather and had suffered corrosion, although mild given the presence of an electrochemical couple.This has led some scholars to believe lemon juice, grape juice, or vinegar was used as an acidic electrolyte solution to generate an electric current from the difference between the electrochemical potentials of the copper and iron electrodes.Both the copper cylinder and the iron rod are held in place with an asphalt plug.There are still conflicting theories among themselves about the dating of the artifacts. St John Simpson from the department of the ancient Near East at the British Museum, believe that the objects might have come from later Sassanian period, and they were actually scientific in nature with capacity to conduct electricity.
There’s never been any untouchable evidence to support the electroplating theory." The gilded objects which König thought might be electroplated are now believed to have been fire-gilded (with mercury).
Furthermore, the style of the pottery (see typology) is Sassanid (224-640).
Most of the components of the objects are not particularly amenable to advanced dating methods.
After the Second World War, Willard Gray demonstrated current production by a reconstruction of the inferred battery design when filled with grape juice. Jansen experimented with benzoquinone (some beetles produce quinones) and vinegar in a cell and got satisfactory performance.
However, even among those who believe the artifacts were electrical devices, electroplating as a use is not well regarded today.
König thought the objects might date to the Parthian period (between 250 BC and AD 224).