Electricity is an invention that is in our heads tightly related to the names of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison. But there is an idea that makes us think deeper about things we thought we already knew.
We know that eminent Egyptians lived in exceptional examples of ancient architecture and surrounded with glory. But their palaces and underground hallways had to have light. Otherwise, the comfort of their lives could not have been possible. So, what kind of artificial light did they have, and how did they create it?
Some scientists believe that electricity was actually invented in ancient Egypt and the first ones who had the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the constant light were Egyptian priests. If this is true, then our current convictions are completely wrong.
What additionally supports this possibility is the fact that a series of reliefs from the temple of Hathor at Dendera depicts an ancient light bulb. The credit for this discovery goes to a Norwegian engineer, who spotted this interesting detail during his visit to this temple. Other engineers could not resist the temptation, they came to the site and confirmed that the detail of the relief represented an electric light bulb.
Studies explained that Egyptian bulbs worked using electrical tubes with partial vacuum. These tubes later became known as Crookes tubes. They were named after an English physicist, William Crookes, who officially invented them in the second half of the 19th century.
The light bulb presented in the segment of an ancient relief had the electron beam in the form of a snake. The head and the tail of the snake touch the opposite ends of the tube, while the reptile itself symbolizes celestial energy.
Scientists are convinced that the tubes in Egyptian bulbs actually had Crookes tubes, based on the comparison of images depicting tubes in ancient bulbs and Crookes tubes.
If these tubes are not identical, they are unbelievably similar.
However, other people point out that numerous Egyptian reliefs and similar details on various Egyptian monuments suggest that there was no artificial light in ancient Egypt. The proof of possible use of lamps has never been found. Even the idea of mirrors reflecting light does not stand, because ancient mirrors were made of polished copper, and they could not have been enough to produce artificial light. Even if the mirrors had the power to reflect enough light, the Egyptians would have needed to adjust the mirrors constantly in order to follow the moving sun. A complicated situation like this was probably not the case.