17 Out-of-Place Artifacts Said to Suggest High-Tech Prehistoric Civilizations Existed
According to the conventional view of history, humans have only walked the Earth in our present form for some 200,000 years. Advanced civilizations appeared several thousand years ago, but much of the mechanical ingenuity we know in modern times began to develop only around the Industrial Revolution a couple hundred years ago.
Oopart (out-of-place artifact) is a term applied to dozens of prehistoric objects found in various places around the world that seem to show a level of technological advancement incongruous with the times in which they were made.
Many scientists attempt to explain them using natural phenomena. Others say such explanations ignore the mounting evidence that prehistoric civilizations possessed advanced technological knowledge that was lost throughout the ages only to be redeveloped in modern times.
We will look at a variety of ooparts here ranging in purported origin from millions of years ago to merely hundreds of years ago, but all said to show advancement well ahead of their time.
We do not claim that all or any of the ooparts are definitive evidence of advanced prehistoric civilizations, but rather attempt to provide a brief glimpse at what’s known or hypothesized about these artifacts. This is not a comprehensive list of all ooparts, but it is a substantial sampling.
Right: An illustration of a Baghdad battery from museum artifact pictures. (Ironie/Wikimedia Commons)
Clay jars with asphalt stoppers and iron rods made some 2,000 years ago have been proven capable of generating more than a volt of electricity. These ancient “batteries” were found by German archaeologist Wilhelm Konig in 1938 just outside of Baghdad, Iraq.
“The batteries have always attracted interest as curios,” Dr. Paul Craddock, a metallurgy expert at the British Museum, told the BBC in 2003. “They are a one-off. As far as we know, nobody else has found anything like these. They are odd things; they are one of life’s enigmas.”
The light-bulb-like object engraved in a crypt under the Temple of Hathor in Egypt. (Lasse Jensen/Wikimedia Commons)
A relief beneath the Temple of Hathor at Dendera, Egypt, depicts figures standing around a large light-bulb-like object. Erich Von Däniken who wrote “Chariot of the Gods,”created a model of the bulb which works when connected to a power source, emitting an eerie, purplish light.
A historic photo of the “wall” found in Rockwall, Texas. (Public Domain)
In 1852, in what is now known as Rockwall Co., Texas, farmers digging a well discovered what appeared to be an ancient rock wall. Estimated to be some 200,000 to 400,000 years old, some say it’s a natural formation while others say it’s clearly man-made.
Dr. John Geissman at the University of Texas in Dallas tested the rocks as part of a History Channel documentary. He found they were all magnetized the same way, suggesting they formed where they are and were not moved to that site from elsewhere. But some remain unconvinced by this single TV-show test and ask for further studies.
Geologist James Shelton and Harvard-trained architect John Lindsey have noted elements that seem to be of architectural design, including archways, linteled portals, and square openings that resemble windows.
Nuclear reactor site, Oklo, Gabon Republic. (NASA)
In 1972, a French factory imported uranium ore from Oklo, in Africa’s Gabon Republic. The uranium had already been extracted. They found the site of origin to have apparently functioned as a large-scale nuclear reactor that came into being 1.8 billion years ago and was in operation for some 500,000 years.
Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg, former head of the United States Atomic Energy Commission and Nobel Prize winner for his work in the synthesis of heavy elements, explained why he believes it wasn’t a natural phenomenon, and thus must be a man-made nuclear reactor. For uranium to “burn” in a reaction, very precise conditions are needed.
The water must be extremely pure, for one. Much purer than exists naturally. The material U-235 is necessary for nuclear fission to occur. It is one of the isotopes found naturally in uranium. Several specialists in reactor engineering have said they believe the uranium in Oklo could not have been rich enough in U-235 for a reaction to take place naturally.
A portion of the Piri Reis map of 1513. (Public Domain)
A map created by Turkish admiral and cartographer Piri Reis in 1513, but sourced from various earlier maps, is thought by some to depict Antarctica as it was in a very remote age before it was covered with ice.