The 2,000 Year Old Baghdad Battery

March 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
clipped from

Battery, Baghdad, 250 BCE

The Baghdad Battery is believed to be about 2000 years old (from the Parthian period,
roughly 250 BCE to CE 250). The jar was found in Khujut Rabu just outside Baghdad and
is composed of a clay jar with a stopper made of asphalt. Sticking through the asphalt
is an iron rod surrounded by a copper cylinder. When filled with vinegar – orany other
electrolytic solution – the jar produces about 1.1 volts.

There is no written record as to the exact function of the jar, but the best guess is that it was a
type of battery. Scientists believe the batteries (if that is their
correct function) were used to electroplate items such as putting a layer of one metal (gold)
onto the surface of another (silver), a method still practiced in Iraq today.

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: