7. Colombian golden airplane, 4th-7th centuries AD
The Colombian golden airplane refers to Quimbaya artifacts. Scientists believe that these items are no more than the stylized recreations of birds and insects. However, there are theorists who claim that the airplanes represent ancient flying machines. It was also proved that enlarged replicas of these artifacts can actually fly.
6. Nimrud lens, 750-710 BC
This optical lens made of crystal rock was unearthed at the Assyrian palace of Nimrud, in modern-day Iraq, in 1850. The lens is equivalent to a 3X magnifying effect. Some scientists believe that it was part of a telescope or had a decorative function.
5. Baghdad battery, c. 2500 BC
The battery consists of terracotta pots containing a copper cylinder housing a single iron rod. Replicas of these pots filled with electrolytes could produce a voltage of approximately 2 volts. Perhaps the ancient Babylonians were aware of the galvanizing method and used the item to electroplate gold onto silver objects. However, skeptics claim that these pots were used as storage for scrolls.
4. Phaistos Disc, 2700-1400 BC
The Phaistos Disc was discovered in the Minoan palace of Phaistos on the island of Crete in 1908. The origin of the disc and the meaning of its signs are still unclear because the clay the disc is made from is not found anywhere on Crete, and the signs don’t have enough background to be deciphered.
3. The tombs inside the Great Pyramids of Giza
Egyptologist Stephen S. Mehler and other researchers suggest that the hallways and chambers inside the Great Pyramids were originally constructed for something other than a pharaoh’s tomb. Just take a look at the complex construction of the ceilings, the perfect acoustics of the 5-story-high halls, and the absence of art. There’s no tomb like this in the whole of Egypt. Ancient Egyptians left us no indication as to the purpose of this construction.
2. Zhang Hang’s seismoscope, 132 AD
This seismoscope was produced by the remarkable Chinese inventor Zhang Hang. When an earthquake approached, Zhang’s device dropped a bronze ball from a dragon head into the mouth of a toad sitting below. The device had a swinging pendulum inside which was connected to the dragon heads with levers.
1. Nebra sky disk, c. 1600 BC
This bronze disk with the golden symbols of a sun, a lunar crescent, and stars was found near Nebra, Germany, in 1999. It was initially suspected of being a forgery, but now it is widely accepted as authentic. This device provides close observation of the yearly course of the sun and the angle between its rising and setting points at the summer and winter solstice, making it the oldest “portable instrument” to allow astronomical measures.