Electrical Capacitors & Other Tools

During an archaeology excavation, it is convention that the discoverer of an object has the privilege of naming the item. However, the identification of the object may not accurately align with its original purpose. When doing my own “digging in the dirt” I found this to be true with many ancient Egyptian objects. Because we are from a different time, with different lifestyles, we relate to our own time and what the modern mind sees and names the object may not relate to its ancient use.

The assortment of so-called hand mirrors pictured below is a photo I took in the British Museum in 1978. These alleged hand mirrors are found in many different sizes, ranging from 1-12 inches. They were found in the personal burial possessions of pharaohs. I believe that many ancient items have been misidentified because we do not know their real use. We name them after something we relate to, and their real purpose remains unrecognized.

Hand mirrors

ASSORTMENT OF ANCIENT EGYPTIAN METAL DISKS CALLED “HAND MIRRORS”   WITH DETACHABLE HANDLES THAT ARE MADE OF BONE, WOOD, AND IVORY

HandMirrorBox

It seemed odd that the so-called Egyptian hand mirrors had removable handles that were mostly made of bone, wood, or ivory. These materials are non-conductors of electricity. Metal disks had special cases and the disk was inserted into an opening at one end of the handle (the handle is not shown). An ornate, carved two-piece box protected the disk and the handle.

ProofPlane

 

ELECTRICAL CAPACITOR PURCHASED AT EDMUNDS SCIENTIFIC IS DESIGNED TO CAPTURE STATIC ELECTRICITY TO BE DISCHARGED SOMEWHERE ELSE

 

 

 

I purchased an electrical device from an electrical supply store called a Proof Plane, It is a metal disk with a non-conducting plastic handle. The sole purpose is to remove excess static electricity from sensitive electronic equipment. By holding the device by the plastic handle, and touching the metal disk to the electronic equipment excess static electricity will jump to the metal disk. The disk then becomes portable and can be moved to a different location. The accumulated static electricity can be discharged at will by touching the metal disk to anything grounded.

HandMirror2

WOODEN HANDLE MAKES AN EGYPTIAN METAL DISK AN ELECTRICAL CAPACITOR

The unique thing about the Egyptian metal disk then becomes a capacitor, capable of capturing and holding an electrical charge that can only be released by touching something that is grounded to the earth. The ancient Egyptians had disks that ranged in size from 1 to 12 inches in diameter.