The Ancient Pharos Electric Lighthouse at Alexandria
Lighthouse of Alexandria,
one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The lighthouse of Alexandria was one of the Seven wonders of the Ancient World. Atop the Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria stood a great mirror, a reflective telescope, and electric searchlight, all in one. You might ask: Did the ancient Egyptians really have electric lights? The answer is in the affirmative and the abundant evidence of its existence follows:
A Sperry searchlight
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!
An ancient Egyptian goddess holding up electric filament lamps to read hieroglyphics
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.'”
A royal light anointing ceremony with "a forest of points"
protecting a temple at Denderah from lightning
Hymn XV-1 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)
An ancient Egyptian illustration of a filament type of electric lamp
with three bulbs and its power cord, emblazoned on a tomb wall
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.
Buddhist Priests shooing insects away from an ancient electric searchlight
The illustration above confirms Devi Chand's translation of verse XV-1 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, and fly whisks used to chase insects away from the bright light.
Ancient Buddhist priests holding up Edison filament-types of electric lamps?
Carbon arc searchlights illustrated in one of the crypts
under the ancient Egyptian temple at Denderah
Courtesy of the British Royal Engineers,
from Wonders of World Engineering, edited by Clarence Winchester
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.
Egyptian deities presenting Hathor with an electric lamp, battery and cable
Egyptian goddess Isis sitting on her throne before four large filament lights
powered by a huge electric battery in the Temple of Denderah
She is saluted with a small battery powered light.
Lucian of Samosata on the Euphrates spoke of a Syrian goddess who 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.
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:
The Demon Carbon Arc Light
"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."
Photographs of an arc light from
the collection of Larry Brian Radka
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 arc light because 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.”
Denderah-temple electric lights with wiring schematics, bulbs, and batteries
Hopefully, the schematic of the (red) batteries hooked up to the (white) electric lights in B above will convince even the most dedicated skeptic that that these ancient Egyptian illustrations passed on to us at Denderah are indeed electric lights. Here, 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.)
“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,” wrote Madame H. P. Blavatsky, in Isis Unveiled, well over a hundred years ago. “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.”
This page was last modified on Thursday, February 07, 2013