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The precise object of this secretion is not entirely understood, although it is suggested that it is used in perforating the bivalve shells or other mollusca which serve as article of food." Speaking of the ancient Assyrians (of Iraq) and the chemicals they produced by 650 B.

C., in a paper read before the Society for the Study of Alchemy and Early Chemistry, Doctor Reginald Campbell Thompson, the author of A Dictionary of Assyrian Chemistry and Geology, informs us that:"The sources from which our knowledge of Assyrian Chemistry is obtained are a very small part of the collections of cuneiform tablets in our museums, which may perhaps be reckoned at a quarter of a million roughly in number, and of this chemistry, almost all our knowledge comes from tablets of the Seventh Century B. But that the ancient Sumerians had a very practical knowledge of chemical methods even before the invention of writing, let us say, very early in the Fourth Millennium B.

Later on, in the Seventh Century, we have a collection of glass recipes made at the instance of King Ashurbanipal (668 - 626 B. More generally we have a large collection of medical texts which allow us to identify numerous substances in use during the First Millennium B. Finally I must mention numerous Sumero-Assyrian dictionaries which give lists of chemical words, also dating from the same period. One example of a powerful primary battery that the ancients could have manufactured, using caustic soda or some equivalent, is the Lalande Battery.

Felix Lalande and Georges Chaperon used a similar electrolyte to produce their primary battery in the nineteenth century, and it supplied enough current to power electric railroad lights for many days before it needed to be restored.

He has written several magazine articles as well as a few books.

"An assembly of this kind cannot very well have any other purpose than that of generating a weak electric current. The value of this discovery increases when one knows that four similar clay vases were found near Tel'Omar or Seleukia - three of them containing copper cylinders similar to the one found at Khujut Rabu'a.

If one remembers that it was found among undisturbed relics of the Parthian Kingdom - which existed from 250 B. The Seleukia finds were, apparently, less well preserved - there are no iron rods in evidence any more. "While the probable date of the invention is entirely open to conjecture, it seems likely that it was made in or near Bagdad, since all known finds were made in the vicinity of this city.

The circular opening at the top of the vase had a diameter of 33 millimeters.

Inside of this vase a cylinder made of sheet copper of high purity was found - the cylinder being 10 centimeters high and having a diameter of about 26 millimeters, almost exactly 1 inch.

It seems that copper vases, some of whose ages go back 4000 years, were unearthed several years ago which had designs plated on them in gold or silver, even some were plated with antimony." "Occasionally, we feel a bit smug about our tremendous advances in the nuclear science and the like, but when we are scooped by some ancient metal smiths we are most assuredly brought down to earth and humbled.

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