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[merged] 1,200-year-old Phone - Ancient Peru

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There’s a 1,200-year-old Phone in the Smithsonian Collections

We’ll never know the trial and error that went into its creation. The marvel of acoustic engineering—cunningly constructed of two resin-coated gourd receivers, each three-and-one-half inches long; stretched-hide membranes stitched around the bases of the receivers; and cotton-twine cord extending 75 feet when pulled taut—arose out of the Chimu empire at its height. The dazzlingly innovative culture was centered in the Río Moche Valley in northern Peru, wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the western Andes.

http://www.smithsoni...l#ixzz2njrXl1DH

I can just see it now, ancient Peruvians up a mountain, on the phone to those below working away... Man on phone saying "Oi, that bits not vitrified enough" :lol:

.

Edited by seeder
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It wuz ALIENS!!! :whistle:

:P

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It wuz ALIENS!!! :whistle:

:P

:w00t: haha yeh, what else?

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Great find, seeder. :tu:

I wish there was more like this to show "fringies" just how ingenious our ancestors were - despite their "primitive technology".

Edited by Leonardo
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It was AAT&T.

(Ancient American Telephone & Telegraph Company)

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The old one may be too fragile to test, but surely the materials can still be found and a new one recreated for testing...?

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And... we have now a new site to look at -

quote from the OP link

"The sophisticated culture was eclipsed when the Inca emperor Tupac Yupanqui conquered the Chimu king Minchancaman around 1470. During its heyday, the urban center of Chan Chan was the largest adobe metropolis in pre-Columbian America. The central nucleus covered 2.3 square miles.

Today, the angular contours of ten immense compounds, once surrounded by thick, 30-foot-high walls, are visible. The compounds, or ciudadelas, erected successively by ten Chimu kings, were subdivided into labyrinths of corridors, kitchens, courtyard gardens, wells, burial sites, supply rooms and residential and administrative chambers, or audiencias.

Chan-Chan-Peru-631.jpg

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/Endangered-Cultural-Treasures-Chan-Chan-Peru.html

some more images worth viewing

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Chan+Chan&client=firefox-a&hs=xg2&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=rcs&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=puexUoLDGoOr7Aaz2oDYCA&ved=0CAsQ_AUoAw&biw=1280&bih=601

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The old one may be too fragile to test, but surely the materials can still be found and a new one recreated for testing...?

Yes and I find it VERY interesting they used a membrane... I mean we know tin cans work to an extent....but its the refinement of using the skin membrane I find amazing.

quote

The marvel of acoustic engineering—cunningly constructed of two resin-coated gourd receivers, each three-and-one-half inches long; stretched-hide membranes stitched around the bases of the receivers;

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So basically it was the prototype for the old two-tin-cans-on-a-piece-of-string then?

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The old one may be too fragile to test, but surely the materials can still be found and a new one recreated for testing...?

No need to test, We used to make these when I was a kid. They work great!
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So basically it was the prototype for the old two-tin-cans-on-a-piece-of-string then?

Not quite,not quite... it also was the prototype of the cans....

No need to test, We used to make these when I was a kid. They work great!

Yep, two cans and a piece of string. And if you can't find no cans use some plastic cups and a thin string.

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And three days later came the first telemarketing...

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So basically it was the prototype for the old two-tin-cans-on-a-piece-of-string then?

Its a bloody unbelievable find... and the string phones work best with a vibrating membrane, like a drum skin...as they have..... tin cans were never so delicate

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Damn it!! Ive just found evidence of even older phones

Flintstones_0.jpgFlintstones2.jpg

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I'm amazed the twine and membranes survived. If it weren't the Smithsonian, I'd be left wanting more validation. Though that first bit bothers me. I'm not very well educated in archaeology, but what are the odds of the membranes alone surviving that long? Honest question.

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I'm amazed the twine and membranes survived. If it weren't the Smithsonian, I'd be left wanting more validation. Though that first bit bothers me. I'm not very well educated in archaeology, but what are the odds of the membranes alone surviving that long? Honest question.

cured skin has survived since the stone age, If my memory does not fail me the oldest known is about15,000 years old.

Edited by questionmark
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I'm amazed the twine and membranes survived. If it weren't the Smithsonian, I'd be left wanting more validation. Though that first bit bothers me. I'm not very well educated in archaeology, but what are the odds of the membranes alone surviving that long? Honest question.

I had the same thought, these could be photos of modern reproductions by museum staff maybe?

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cured skin has survived since the stone age, If may memory does not fail me the oldest known is about15,000 years old.

Thanks for the info, I guess my incredulity is based that I view Peru as only rainforest (I should have thought harder about the silly idea) and figured it would have rotted. I really enjoy learning, so thank you.

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That is incredibly cool, never knew about that one!

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The old one may be too fragile to test, but surely the materials can still be found and a new one recreated for testing...?

I was thinking the same thing

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Another great idea stifled by legalese and red tape...

DEC13-A01-NationalTreasure631.jpg

...the service contract alone was some 33 stele slabs of fine intaglio. No app support...this list goes on and on...

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I had the same thought, these could be photos of modern reproductions by museum staff maybe?

No I think its the original. Itd be very cool to make a replica and see how good it relayed voice

.

Edited by seeder

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It's fascinating when there is real evidence for a technology. This is pretty sophisticated. It is easier to build and maintain and modify than laying pipes for the communications. It is also more secure.

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No I think its the original. Itd be very cool to make a replica and see how good it relayed voice

.

Pretty good, but to make a replica: you need two pieces of wood, formed as a truncated pyramid and hollowed out with a grove all around it at the smaller end, a piece of goat parchment (llama parchment also works) big enough to cover the smaller ends, two pieces of string and a thin rope.

Cut the parchment so that it will cover both smaller ends,make a small hole in the center of each piece. Now douse them in water and let them soak a while.

After soaking put the parchment pieces, centered, around the smaller end of the wood pieces and fasten with the string into the groove in the wood. Make sure that the parchment is tense and well tied as it will tense more once dried. Let both earphones dry for a few days.

After drying put the rope through the parchment and make a knot in the end, pull the rope back so the knot sits on the parchment. Now have a friend walk the full extend of the rope keeping it slightly tense (to avoid noise) and say the magic formula: "Mary had a little lamb...." (that one worked for Edison). Have your friend report back by reciting "Twinkle twinkle little star...." to make the alien magic complete

Edited by questionmark
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Pretty good, but to make a replica: you need two pieces of wood, formed as a truncated pyramid and hollowed out with a grove all around it at the smaller end, a piece of goat parchment (llama parchment also works) big enough to cover the smaller ends, two pieces of string and a thin rope.

Cut the parchment so that it will cover both smaller ends,make a small hole in the center of each piece. Now douse them in water and let them soak a while.

After soaking put the parchment pieces, centered, around the smaller end of the wood pieces and fasten with the string into the groove in the wood. Make sure that the parchment is tense and well tied as it will tense more once dried. Let both earphones dry for a few days.

After drying put the rope through the parchment and make a knot in the end, pull the rope back so the knot sits on the parchment. Now have a friend walk the full extend of the rope keeping it slightly tense (to avoid noise) and say the magic formula: "Mary had a little lamb...." (that one worked for Edison). Have your friend report back by reciting "Twinkle twinkle little star...." to make the alien magic complete

Aren't you forgetting the intercession by AA's since man was far too stupid to create something of such complexity.

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