Lycurgus Cup, ancient nanotechnology from the Romans.

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posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 10:18 AM
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I came across this in my Facebook feed via Smithsonian Magazine and found it interesting so I thought i'd share. I checked and didn't see it posted but if it has please direct me to it.




The glass chalice, known as the Lycurgus Cup because it bears a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, appears jade green when lit from the front but blood-red when lit from behind—a property that puzzled scientists for decades after the museum acquired the cup in the 1950s. The mystery wasn’t solved until 1990, when researchers in England scrutinized broken fragments under a microscope and discovered that the Roman artisans were nanotechnology pioneers: They’d impregnated the glass with particles of silver and gold, ground down until they were as small as 50 nanometers in diameter, less than one-thousandth the size of a grain of table salt. The exact mixture of the precious metals suggests the Romans knew what they were doing—“an amazing feat,” says one of the researchers, archaeologist Ian Freestone of University College London.

Read more: www.smithsonianmag.com... 7et5W
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter


How cool! The cup is 1600 yrs old and it's a beautiful piece. The article states there were some tests done not on the cup but with the methods used in the cup to see how it reacted with different liquids such as water or other things like salt. It seems each one gives a different color when it reacts with the gold and silver particles. Pretty interesting! It also says that this kind of "tech" could possibly be used to detect harmful disease or pathogens in saliva. Here is that part of the article. I'm not good at explaining this kind of stuff.


The article says this:

nce the researchers couldn’t put liquid into the precious artifact itself, they instead imprinted billions of tiny wells onto a plastic plate about the size of a postage stamp and sprayed the wells with gold or silver nanoparticles, essentially creating an array with billions of ultra-miniature Lycurgus Cups. When water, oil, sugar solutions and salt solutions were poured into the wells, they displayed a range of easy-to-distinguish colors—light green for water and red for oil, for example. The proto­type was 100 times more sensitive to altered levels of salt in solution than current commercial sensors using similar techniques. It may one day make its way into handheld devices for detecting pathogens in samples of saliva or urine, or for thwarting terrorists trying to carry dangerous liquids onto airplanes.

Read more: www.smithsonianmag.com... t5YOh
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter


I think this would be great to use to detect diseases in saliva or whatever else it can be used for. I just hope someone doesn't it use it for the wrong reasons.

What are your thoughts?

Source




posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 06:10 PM
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reply to post by mblahnikluver
 


Amazing stuff! It would be hard enough to produce just that perfect jade glass! I am pretty sure we know very little still of our ancestors. remember the paint found on the city in the jungle and it's odd properties?

Another that may well lead to an advance in our own paint today.


Maya Blue is an ancient turquoise-blue paint used in the Maya civilisation, showing an unusually high resistance to natural and chemical attacks. Thanks to this property, ceramics and other ancient artefacts painted with Maya Blue have hardly faded until today.
The reasons for this high stability are still unclear. Maya Blue is a complex formed by the organic pigment indigo and the inorganic clay palygorskite: besides opening new perspectives into a new class of environmentally benign, metal-free paints, understanding its structure also provides insight into properties of advanced hybrid materials.

www.ucl.ac.uk...



posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 06:41 PM
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That's for that article. Just imagine if you could have drinking glasses that had indicator bands indicating the alcoholic content, bitter, sweet, or had lager, wine, whisky or vodka. I'm imagining gold or silver bands with transparent lettering that would appear on parts of the glass.

Roman's had some amazing objects - there was a novelty water clock based on Medusa, with eyes that changed color with every minute. Every quarter hour a metal ball-bearing would be released by a wood-pecker like bird.



posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 09:18 PM
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I'm extremely impressed, but I'm equally impressed with the condition of the cup.

One thousand six hundred years and it looks brand new---amazing.



posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 09:31 PM
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reply to post by mblahnikluver
 


Fascinating piece of history


I remember seeing this on a documentary once but the name of it is slipping my tongue, the Romans were an ingenious bunch of beasts.

Nothing much has changed in terms of achievement between those Romans and modern society, we just have better systems of measuring and understanding. In terms of Civic achievement nothing much has changed, I can imagine if the Romans had Electricity and an age of understanding that throws off the constraints of religion/mysticism they would be very little difference on how we would compare.

Romans clearly understood at least something wise about alchemy and the uses of elements/chemicals etc. All mainly inherited from conquered lands no doubt (another trait we share also). Same beast different face I suppose.

thanks for the thread S & F



posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 09:41 PM
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I suspect it was probably used to detect the various poisons of the time. If the wine wasn't the usual color in the glass then there was an indication of something added to it.

Evidence of advanced scientific knowledge, ahead of its time.
edit on 27-8-2013 by eManym because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 10:27 PM
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reply to post by mblahnikluver
 


My thoughts are, most people presume the ancients were morons because they didn't have Iphones and Windows Phones and used horses and ships to move cargo instead of UPS and FedEx with jumbo jets.



posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 11:10 PM
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I read about this a few day's ago and it really is amazing.

maybe this is how water turns to wine? slight of hand or nanotech.



posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 11:46 PM
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Its cool, but would be cooler to see it change colors in person.. Since its a museum piece you cant really take it out and test it out what colors it changes with different kind of light reflected on it, or with different liquids in it. But a vid does it more justice then a picture can, one of the short vids I found online showing this cup.



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 12:54 AM
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What are my thoughts? I have none, my mind has since been blown. I thought the Antikythera Mechanism was the most incredible ancient artifact (which in my book it still is), but this is very close.



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 02:33 AM
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I think this would be great to use to detect diseases in saliva or whatever else it can be used for. I just hope someone doesn't it use it for the wrong reasons.

What are your thoughts?


It says 'diseases at checkpoints'.

You really don't want to hear my thoughts.

# 51



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 03:14 AM
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One thing that must be kept in mind, is the ability to make something doesn't imply you know why it's happening.

They ground up metal into fine dust and mixed it with glass. That's hardly profound. Today, we understand the actual scientific reasons these things happen, that doesn't mean they did, or that they did these things with the intent of creating such a result.

Old blacksmiths were able to form carbon nanotubes in steel. That does not imply they designed their method in order to create nanotubes, nor does it imply they were even aware of the existence of such a thing.

Same thing with maya blue, there isn't any mystery to it, we know exactly how to make it, and it's a simple process. It's properties are result of its ingredients, not magic of the maya. The ability to produce such a simple product doesn't imply you are aware of chemistry to the point where these ingredients were combined specifically to produce the properties that happen to exhibit.

The first person to create fire figured out if he rubbed two sticks together it made fire. He didn't understand (or need to) the complexities of rapid oxidation and chemical reactions in general in order to create fire.

These artifacts are definitely cool and interesting, but they in no way imply any sort of advanced ancient knowledge or abilities.



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 04:58 AM
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I bet you could use it to let normal water appear as red wine...



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 05:00 AM
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reply to post by mblahnikluver
 


Amazing. What do you think Aliens may of drank wine?



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 06:18 AM
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traditional stained glass was often made from colloidal gold - many of the red planes you see in churches will be made from nanoparticle gold. Nanoparticle gold has been around for a long time.





posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 06:48 AM
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reply to post by Char-Lee
 


I vaguely remember reading about that paint. I think I read about it here on ATS actually.

It is very cool! Our ancestors were smart and we sure as heck don't give them enough credit. There are many civilizations that did things we can't replicate or figure out today even with all the "technology" we have. I think each civilization was advanced technology wise in their own way. It doesnt have to mean what it means in today's terms.

Thanks for the links on the paint. I haven't really read all that much about it so it will give me something to do when the little one is sleeping.



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 06:50 AM
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Originally posted by stormcell
That's for that article. Just imagine if you could have drinking glasses that had indicator bands indicating the alcoholic content, bitter, sweet, or had lager, wine, whisky or vodka. I'm imagining gold or silver bands with transparent lettering that would appear on parts of the glass.

Roman's had some amazing objects - there was a novelty water clock based on Medusa, with eyes that changed color with every minute. Every quarter hour a metal ball-bearing would be released by a wood-pecker like bird.


Yes that would be cool!

I have never heard of this clock, sounds amazing. Medusa was always my favorite from the Roman's. She could turn men to stone with a look. Oh how that would have come in handy a few times in my life.


I will have to look up the clock. Thanks.



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 06:51 AM
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Originally posted by iamhobo
I'm extremely impressed, but I'm equally impressed with the condition of the cup.

One thousand six hundred years and it looks brand new---amazing.


I know it's in excellent condition! I too had to look at the age again. It is beautiful. If they sold replica's I would most definitely buy one!



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 06:55 AM
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Originally posted by eManym
I suspect it was probably used to detect the various poisons of the time. If the wine wasn't the usual color in the glass then there was an indication of something added to it.

Evidence of advanced scientific knowledge, ahead of its time.
edit on 27-8-2013 by eManym because: (no reason given)


This is what to came to mind for me as well.

I mean what would be the point of doing it for looks? It could have been for looks but it seems like the Roman's did this for a reason. I guess we can only speculate.



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 07:33 AM
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Very interesting. I watched a show the other day on one of the discovery channnels, possibly what the ancients knew? Anyways, they had a thing on roman "caged" glass which is what that cup would fall into and how they aren't quite sure to this day how it was done. The one guy who had come up with a theory on how it was done was using basically a diamond bladed dremel to replicate the caged glass look . The question that raises is where did they get the diamonds from ? As they said on the show , at the time the only place they could have gotten diamonds from was from India . Anyways, very interesting thanks for posting





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