Produced from the freshwater papyrus reed, the papyrus scrolls were fragile and susceptible to decay from both moisture and excessive dryness and many of them have thus been lost, whereas the older, more durable clay cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia have survived. Sumerian mathematics and science used a base 60 sexagesimal numeral system.Historians seem to agree that the wheel and axle were invented around 3500 B. 60 is divisible by 1,2,3,4,5,6,10,12,15,20,30 and 60 making it more convenient than using a base 10 decimal system when working with fractions.

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They did not have the benefit of cheap, off the shelf, mass produced batteries. Bronze is a relatively hard alloy of copper and tin, better suited for the purpose than the much softer copper enabling improved durability of the weapons and the ability to hold a cutting edge.

For many years the telegraph, and later the telephone, industries were the only consumers of batteries in modest volumes and it wasn't until the twentieth century that new applications created the demand that made the battery a commodity item. The use of bronze for tools and weapons gradually spread to the rest of the World until it was eventually superceded by the much harder iron.

Initially inspired by the development of batteries, it covers technology in general and includes some interesting little known, or long forgotten, facts as well as a few myths about the development of technology, the science behind it, the context in which it occurred and the deeds of the many personalities, eccentrics and charlatans involved.

"Either you do the work or you get the credit" Yakov Zel'dovich - Russian Astrophysicist Fortunately it is not always true.

He travelled to Egypt and the city state of Babylon in Mesopotamia (now modern day Iraq) and is said to have brought Babylonian mathematics back to Greece.

The following rules are attributed to him: Using the concept of similar triangles he was able to calculate the height of pyramids by comparing the size of their shadows with smaller, similar triangles of known dimensions.

Papyri were unearthed in the nineteenth century dating from around 1600 B. Other contemporary papyri described Egyptian mathematics. Egyptian teachings provided the foundation of Greek science and although Imhotep's teachings were known to the Greeks, 2200 years after his death, they assigned the honour of Father of Medicine to Hippocrates. Designs were cut into a sheet of papyrus and pigments were applied through the apertures with a brush. The Xia dynasty in China perfected the casting of bronze for the production of weapons and ritual wine and food vessels, reaching new heights during the Shang dynasty (1600-1050 B. The lid was decorated with two "cherubim" with outstretched wings.

The technique was reputed to have been in use in China around the same time but no artifacts remain. In 1915 Nikola Tesla, in an essay entitled "The Fairy Tale of Electricity" promoting the appreciation of electrical developments, proposed what seemed a plausible explanation for some of the magical powers of the Ark.

It seems Tesla's explanation was appropriately named. Also called magnetite, lodestone is a magnetic oxide of iron (Fe) which was mined in the province of Magnesia in Thessaly from where the magnet gets its name.