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There are many descriptions of quite believable automata that were actually constructed and used in the palaces of wealthy kings. These include: singing and dancing birds, a dancing elephant, elaborate chronometers with moving ivory figures and an astronomical instrument showing the movements of the planets.
Here is a description taken from the twelfth-century Samararigana-sutradha-ra:
Male and female figures are designed for various kinds of auto- matic service. Each part of these figures is made and fitted separately, with holes and pins, so that thighs, eyes, neck, hand, wrist, forearm and fingers can act according to need. The material used is mainly wood, but a leather cover is given to complete the im- pression of a human being. The movements are managed by the system of poles, pins and strings attached to rods controlling each limb. Looking into a mirror, playing a lute and stretching out the hand to touch, give pan, sprinkle water and make obeisance are the acts done by these figures.
The device is remarkable for the level of miniaturization and for the complexity of its parts, which is comparable to that of 18th century clocks. It has over 30 gears, although Michael Wright (see below) has suggested as many as 72 gears, with teeth formed through equilateral triangles. When a date was entered via a crank (now lost), the mechanism calculated the position of the Sun, Moon, or other astronomical information such as the location of other planets. Since the purpose was to position astronomical bodies with respect to the celestial sphere, with reference to the observer's position on the surface of the earth, the device was based on the geocentric model.
Hero described construction of the aeolipile (a version of which is known as Hero's engine) which was a rocket-like reaction engine and the first-recorded steam engine (although Vitruvius mentioned the aeolipile in De Architectura some 100 years earlier than Hero). It was created almost two millennia before the industrial revolution. Another engine used air from a closed chamber heated by an altar fire to displace water from a sealed vessel; the water was collected and its weight, pulling on a rope, opened temple doors. Some historians have conflated the two inventions to assert that the aeolipile was capable of useful work.
The intricate bronze instrument has puzzled scientists ever since it was recovered in A.D. 1901. The device was one of many treasures found in a Roman shipwreck discovered by a sponge diver just off Antikythera island, off the southern coast of Greece (map of Greece).
There is a bias, perhaps unconscious, but it is present nonetheless. This bias is to deny the ancients advanced technology, but it is OK if we ascribe them advanced ideas. I want to abridge this gap between advanced ideas and advanced technology in this thread. I propose the ancients not only had advanced ideas, they also had advanced technology(aeroplanes, WMD, computers and robots) and there is evidence to show this is true.
The Chinese abacus was developed about 5000 years ago. It was built out of wood and beads. It could be held and carried around easily. The abacus was so successful that its use spread form China to many other countries. The abacus does not actually do the computing, as today's calculators do. It helps people keep track of numbers as they do the computing.
Function: noun / ab·a·cus
Definition: A counting device: a mechanical device for making calculations consisting of a frame mounted with rods along which beads or balls are moved
Inventor: Chinese in c3000 BC
It was as if the elements had been unleashed. The sun spun around in circles. Scorched by the fearful heat of the weapon, the world reeled. Elephants were burnt by the incandescent heat and ran wildly to and fro….Water boiled; animals died…The raging fire made the trees topple like ninepins as if in a forest fire….Horses and chariots burnt up; it looked like the aftermath of a conflagration. Thousands of chariots were destroyed, then deep silence descended…It was a ghastly sight to see. The corpses of the fallen were so mutilated by the frightful heat that they no longer looked like human beings. Never before have we seen such an awful weapon, and never before have we heard of such a weapon.”
“The heavens cried out, the earth bellowed an answer, lightning flashed forth, fire flamed upwards, it rained down death. The brightness vanished, the fire was extinguished. Everyone who was struck by the lightning was turned to ashes.”
Mahabharata: the Drona aBhisheka (Chapter XI) and the Harivamsa (Chapter LVI), offer descriptions of other major destructions from the same war in which whole cities were “consumed in an all-encompassing inferno“ and “plunged into the water depths.” These accounts conclude with the defeat of a peoples called the Avantis—)very close to Plato’s Atlantis.!)
In the Hindu epic poems of the Mahabharata and Ramayana are even more detailed descriptions of an age thousands of years ago when great god-kings rode about in their Vimanas or flying craft and waged war by launching powerful weapons at their enemies.
The descriptions given of these weapons in the ancient verses—their force, the characteristics of their destruction and the after-affects—sound disturbingly modern. The texts describe:
*The thunderbolt of Indra was endowed with the force of thousand-eyed Indra’s thunder.
*The bolt of death measured three cubits by six. It was the unknown weapon, the iron thunderbolt of Indra, the messenger of death.
*The projectile was charged with all the power of the Universe.
*The Agneya weapon was capable of being resisted by none of the very gods themselves.
*The Brahma-danda or Brahma’s rod was even more powerful.
*Though it struck only once, it smote whole countries and entire races from generation to generation.
*Adwattan let loose the blazing missile of smokeless fire.
*The missile burst with the power of thunder.
*The flying missile ruined whole cities filled with forts.
*The three cities of the Vrishnis and Andhakas were destroyed together in one instant.
*An incandescent column of smoke and fire as brilliant as ten thousand suns rose in all its splendor.
*Clouds roared upward showering dust and gravel.
*Dense arrows of flame like a great shower issued forth upon creation, encompassing the enemy on all sides.
*The sky blazed and the ten points of the horizon filled with smoke.
*Meteors flashed down from the sky.
*Fierce winds began to blow, and the very elements seemed disturbed.
*The sun appeared to waver in the heavens.
*The earth and all its mountains and seas and forests began to tremble.
*The wind blew as a fierce storm and the earth glowed.
*No one saw the fire—it was unseen. Yet it consumed everything.
*As rain poured down it was dried in mid-air by the heat.
*Birds croaked madly, and beasts shuddered from the destruction.
*Animals crumpled to the ground, their heads broken, and they died over a vast region.
*Elephants burst into flame, running to and fro in frenzy seeking protection.
*The waters of rivers and lakes boiled and the creatures residing therein perished.
*Thousands of war vehicles fell down on either side.
*Whole armies collapsed like trees in a forest burnt where they stood as in a raging fire.
*Corpses were so burnt they were no longer recognizable.
*The gaze of the Kapilla weapon was powerful enough to burn fifty thousand men to ashes.
*The thunderbolt reduced to ashes the entire race of Vrishnis and Ankhakas.
*To escape the breath of death the warriors leapt into rivers to wash themselves and bury their armor.
*Hair and nails fell out.
*Unborn children were killed in the womb.
*Birds were born with white feathers, red feet and in the shape of turtles.
*Pottery broke without cause.
*All foods became poisoned and inedible.
*The land was afflicted by drought thereafter for ten long years.
The archaeological expedition, which carried out excavations near the Indian settlement of Mohenjo-Daro in the beginning of the 1900s, uncovered the ruins of a big ancient town. The town belonged to one of the most developed civilizations in the world. The ancient civilization existed for two or three thousand years. However, scientists were a lot more interested in the death of the town, rather than in its prosperity. Researchers tried to explain the reason of the town's destruction with various theories. However, scientists did not find any indications of a monstrous flood, skeletons were not numerous, there were no fragments of weapons, or anything else that could testify either to a natural disaster or a war. Archaeologists were perplexed: according to their analysis the catastrophe in the town had occurred very unexpectedly and it did not last long.
Scientists Davneport and Vincenti put forward an amazing theory. They stated the ancient town had been ruined with a nuclear blast. They found big stratums of clay and green glass. Apparently, archaeologists supposed, high temperature melted clay and sand and they hardened immediately afterwards. Similar stratums of green glass can also found in Nevada deserts after every nuclear explosion.
A hundred years have passed since the excavations in Mohenjo-Daro. The modern analysis showed, the fragments of the ancient town had been melted with extremely high temperature - not less than 1,500 degrees centigrade. Researchers also found the strictly outlined epicenter, where all houses were leveled. Destructions lessened towards the outskirts. Dozens of skeletons were found in the area of Mohenjo-Daro - their radioactivity exceeded the norm almost 50 times.
Originally posted by Indigo_Child
So far we have found almost everything that was considered the mythological from the advanced machines of the ancients to the class of fire-weapons is real.
In 83 chapters, subjects treated are town planning, house architecture, temple architecture and sculptural arts together with Mudras (the different hand poses and the poses of the body as well as the postures of legs), the canons of painting, and a chapter on the art of mechanical contrivances, the yantras (chapter 31).
The ancients must have had aeroplanes and robots. In fact if we give them that, it must mean they had everything we had, if not more.