Ancient technologies Part 1
We are convinced that we are at the peak of technological civilization. But recent studies have shown that our distant ancestors possessed technologies that we still can't solve. However, then they very quickly lost.
A group of Italian researchers under the guidance of Gabriel Maria Ingo from the Institute of nanostructured materials (Italy) reported the first successes in the study of ancient gilding technology products. Technology this more than 2 thousand years, and during the middle Ages, like many others, she was lost. Today, it is difficult to imagine how in the days of the first Roman emperors, people were able to create a technology applying a very thin metal films comparable to those currently used in modern electronics. But something has managed to understand.
Archaeologists quite long faced coins, and even more complex metal products (figurines and rings) that looked like gold but turned out to be made of cheaper alloys, wood or ceramic. Their coverage was of extremely high quality and durable. These products we can do now, using modern methods, but the ancient masters had no electroplating bath or cyanide electrolytes. Coating thickness was about 1 micrometer is 0.001 millimeter.
Antique and later medieval artists used their art for a variety of purposes. For example, in order to protect products from cheap alloys (such as statuettes or panels) from the influence of the external environment. The coins were covered with gold to improve their appearance including on the initiative of the authorities thus managed to avoid the common situation where the value of the metal coins could be higher than its nominal value. Gilded cheap enough jewelry because there were always people who wanted to look richer than you were actually. And, of course, was the counterfeiters, which let fake gold plated coin instead of gold.
There was one more direction of work of specialists in gilding, which has developed at a later time (or we just don't know the earlier samples, which is also possible), is an artistic plating of complex contours. An example of this gilding was the surface of the altar of St. Ambrogio (825).
It is clear that some elements of composition are covered with gold leaf, while the other is silver. This is no ordinary leaf gilding (thin film) in gold on a wooden substrate, we applied a completely different technology, providing an extremely durable and beautiful coating, which has not lost its appearance for 1200 years. The fact that the thickness of the sheets of gold leaf is much more even today, when it is produced with the help of robotic technology.
To understand how did the ancient experts, today I had to use x ray photoelectron and energy dispersive spectroscopy in combination with scanning electron microscopy. It was discovered that the masters used mercury, or more precisely, a solution of gold in mercury, referred to as amalgam. However, in contrast to the known us the "fire gilding", when the subject was applied to the amalgam, and then burned up, there have been some other method of applying the thinnest gold foil most likely, something like glue, which glued the hyperfine plates of gold leaf. But this is only supposition, because until the end of the technology is still not disclosed.
Modern researchers from the group of Gabriel Maria Ingo surprising as this level of technology could reach the ancient masters without reliable knowledge about the behavior of materials which were known only in the last couple of centuries. That is a mystery not only in how you did this cover, but how the masters of antiquity thought of it. Whether it was the method of "trial and error", or they acted the scientific method, putting the experiments, locking them. The version of the help of aliens, for obvious reasons, Italian researchers do not consider. But the fact that they could use the knowledge of specialists from related fields of knowledge, can be taken as a version. Especially since the achievements were.
Proof which the early metallurgists could make use of exceptional apparatus, for example calculating, would be that the so called Antikythera mechanism, that most believe that the very mysterious early mechanics of most detected by contemporary archaeologists.
He had been increased by the base of the Mediterranean sea close to the island of Antikythera by sponge sailors in 1902, however exactly what it was quite a very long time stayed cloudy. And just in 1951 Derek price tag indicated that this is really an early drawing apparatus. His era pros credited towards the early century BC.
At 1959 Cost printed a in depth outline of this apparatus from the journal Scientific American, however, it required another years to compile a much broader diagram of their apparatus, that included gears. With this period the trip Jacques Yves Cousteau observed that the remains of the submerged boat carrying out a mysterious mechanics, the more coins which helped to day the tragedy at the span from 87 to 76 BC.