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Unknown technologies are unearthed every so often at archeological digs and other such sites of study, these range from the unknown clay pots commonly known as “Baghdad batteries”, pots with all of the indications of being primitive batteries from a period far before humanity was believed to have known about electricity, to the extremely famous Antikythera mechanism, a mechanical device far beyond what was commonly accepted as the level of technology of the era.
These devices are of huge historical interest because they imply that common knowledge of when certain things were discovered are wrong, at least to a degree.
The newest of these strange indications of unknown technology comes from China, where a statue is depicted holding an unknown device amongst the Dazu rock carvings in Chongqing province. The statue, described as having an expression of “listening intently” is holding a device that does not conform to anything that is known for certain to exist. This statue is one of over 50, 00 sculptures and statues but this one, in particular, has scientists and archeologists perplexed.
Explanations for the device range from the simple theory that perhaps the individual is holding a simple depiction of a snake, to the complex, like a device capable of hearing sounds from many miles away, a sort of primitive telephone. Another possibility is that the individual is carrying a telescope of some sort, an indication of the technology that would be very very early.
Experts cannot agree what exactly the statue is holding, and with the evidence available right now it will likely remain a mystery. Perhaps one of the other statues or carvings may shed light on the device and provide a definitive answer. Its possible that this is another very early invention to add on the the famous “Four great inventions” that China is well known for producing. These being Gunpowder, the Compass, Paper making, and Printing. Four technologies that have shaped the world as it is known today. Perhaps soon it will be the five great inventions.
Another theory is that China has developed far more of the great inventions of the past few millennia than would be statistically likely, people suggest that perhaps China had help from beyond the stars. If the device turns out to be a telescope that would be extremely promising evidence that the ancient Chinese at least knew about the stars in the sky even if they didn’t have any contact. The belief that ancient Chinese technology is yet to be uncovered that has been lost for centuries or millennia is not an uncommon one, when a countries invention pedigree is as impressive as Chinas it is easy to see why people would suspect there are other great discoveries that have simply been lost to the sands of time.
I hope to see more of this and hope that something sheds light on the device, Though it may simply be a snake or perhaps some form of early musical instrument (possibly explaining the listening expression) it is an enticing mystery, for now, one which will capture the imaginations of many.