Going a step further, he successfully used one filled with grape juice as an electrolyte to plate gold on a six-inch silver object in two hours’ time. Eggebrecht possessed a small Egyptian figurine of the god Osiris dating to 400 B. The German scientist was convinced that many Egyptian gold statuettes and other objects exhibited today in modern museums may not be solid gold as has been assumed, but are really made of silver and were simply plated with gold ages ago by the electroplating process. Marjorie Senechal, professor of the history of science at Smith College in Massachusetts, built models of the ancient Iraqi battery and also used vinegar as an electrolyte.
The replica put out 1.1 volts for a sustained period of time.
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Linking the jars together in series, the television team successfully produced nearly four volts.
Needless to say, no “myth” was “busted” in that evening’s program.
What had they been used for, besides electroplating?
Numerous modern researchers have suggested that perhaps the ancient batteries had once been used for medical purposes.
In 1938 he helped excavate ruins at Khujut Rabua southeast of Baghdad.
What intrigued Konig about this location was that two years earlier a hillside had been washed away by a local flood, revealing an ancient gravesite.
Pierczynski of the University of North Carolina, used a five percent vinegar solution as the electrolyte.
The replica battery produced half a volt of electricity for 18 days. Arne Eggebrecht, Egyptologist with the Rowmer und Pelizaeus Museum of Hidelsheim, Germany— working with experts in electro-chemistry, goldsmithing, and galvanization—began actively experimenting with models of the ancient batteries, producing up to 0.87 volts. which shows exactly the same gold plate patterning as he obtained from using his ancient battery model.
Electroplating techniques, however, generally need a current of only half a volt.