My wacky electronics professor is claiming that the archeologists did not find any carbon residue from burning oil or any flamable substance on the cielings of the tombs with painted walls. He suggests that they may have had crude batteries and electric light sources.
I think he’s full of it, but I haven’t been able to find supporting evidence one way or they other.
Do you know if it’s true that there has not been any carbon deposits found on the ceilings of the tombs with painted walls?
Which tombs? Egypt? Roman catacombs? The REALLY old cave paintings? How does he think archaeologists could tell one carbon residue from another (i.e. the walls are, um, painted, right?)? He is clearly full of it, but in what specific ways remains to be worked out. What a strange thing to say, but I’ve heard of these “primitive battery” believers.
It’s your prof’s statement, so he has to prove it, not you. Ask him for cites.
The so-called “Baghdad battery” is probably what has given rise to these speculations. The object would have made a really poor battery. There was an article about it in the May/June 1996 issue of Skeptical Inquirer.
There was an article in, I think, Science Digest many years ago back when it was a real magazine, and there’s been at least one History Channel program (I think), where they proved that it would have been possible to illuminate the insides of Egyptian tombs using nothing more than mirrors.