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The Nanjing Belt [ 5th c aluminum artifact ]
Bizarre History Blog ^ | Saturday, July 9, 2011 | Beachcombing

Posted on 07/11/2011 8:15:58 PM PDT by SunkenCiv

The Nanjing Belt was discovered in a tomb in 1952 around a skeleton. The tomb and the body dated to the Jin Dynasty that brings us back to the early centuries A.D (265-420) and luckily the name of the occupant was established through an inscription. He was one Zhou Chou (obit 297) who died fighting, of all people, the Tibetans.

So far so easy: belts and even britches are common in graves around the world from the mysterious dragon buckles of Late Roman mercenaries to the ceremonial belts of the Lords of the Maya. In fact, the problems only really began when the boffins got the belt off Zhou and back into a laboratory.

The belt included 'about' (?) twenty pieces of metal -- which had presumably been attached to the now rotted leather -- and four of these were made of almost pure aluminium. Aluminium it will be remembered does not appear alone in nature. It took Europeans till the early nineteenth century to understand how to isolate this useful substance and even then the aluminium that issued was far from pure.

Chinese historians were, understandably, bemused and something of a civil war broke out, not helped by the fact that the Cultural Revolution was on the horizon. If there was a resolution though before Mao's guillotine came down it was that four pieces were, indeed, aluminium. The problem then was not metallurgical but rather archaeological: were they Jin Dynasty or had they been placed in the tomb in the nineteenth or twentieth centuries?

(Excerpt) Read more at strangehistory.net ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: aluminum; china; godsgravesglyphs; nanjingbelt
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The Nanjing belt. The discovery of aluminium amongst the fragments suggested that the Chinese isolated the metal at least 1,500 years before western scientists.

The Nanjing Belt

1 posted on 07/11/2011 8:16:01 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
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To: SunkenCiv

The knowledge of concrete vanished for centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire too


2 posted on 07/11/2011 8:17:17 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: Renfield; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

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Thanks Renfield. Could have sworn there was an earlier topic about this.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
 

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3 posted on 07/11/2011 8:17:50 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv
"were they Jin Dynasty or had they been placed in the tomb in the nineteenth or twentieth centuries?"

I vote for them being cheap, Chinese knock-offs.

4 posted on 07/11/2011 8:24:33 PM PDT by Deaf Smith
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To: SunkenCiv; GeronL

Before the Haber process works, you are going to need one HECK of a campfire...

Very interesting. The pyramid peak of the Empire State building is aluminum - because at the time, aluminum was more valuable than gold.


5 posted on 07/11/2011 8:24:49 PM PDT by patton (I am sure that I have done dumber things in my life, but at the moment, I am unable to recall them.)
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To: patton

interesting!!


6 posted on 07/11/2011 8:27:06 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: GeronL

Can we duplicate roman concrete even now? Last I heard, it was a matter of debate. But I also remember reading, that the addition of volcanic ash strengthens the concrete immensely, and increases its usefule life by some large factor - so perhaps it has been done.


7 posted on 07/11/2011 8:27:24 PM PDT by patton (I am sure that I have done dumber things in my life, but at the moment, I am unable to recall them.)
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To: GeronL; blam; SunkenCiv

...and that gets me wondering how Roman concrete was invented. I am picturing some government contractor short on his delivery order - “Well, mix some of this dang ash in it. We got enough of that lying around, what with Vesuvius and all...”


8 posted on 07/11/2011 8:33:39 PM PDT by patton (I am sure that I have done dumber things in my life, but at the moment, I am unable to recall them.)
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To: patton

The Romans got the tech from the Egyptians, though it was a protected secret of the ‘priestly class’. ... just sayin’


9 posted on 07/11/2011 8:35:57 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Some, believing they can't be deceived, it's nigh impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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To: GeronL

The recipe of “Greek Fire” which kept the Ottomans out of Constantinople for centuries, is still not known.


10 posted on 07/11/2011 8:37:41 PM PDT by PGR88 (I'm so open-minded my brains fell out)
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To: MHGinTN

The Egyptians knew some surprising things - like how to electroplate gold onto lead. No idea how that gor invented, but I can surmise that a government contractor came up with it.


11 posted on 07/11/2011 8:39:48 PM PDT by patton (I am sure that I have done dumber things in my life, but at the moment, I am unable to recall them.)
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To: patton
A common substance in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois is "the cinder block".

They are very hard; very strong; very stable; very sharp ~ you must wear heavy gloves to handle them.

I think the only mortar for which the recipe was lost during the Early Middle Ages was that for hydraulic or marine cement. It sets up under water.

Every now and then you'll see this on DISCOVER where they're looking over an old fortress or castle in Europe and they mention that the mortar seams are almost invisible.

12 posted on 07/11/2011 8:39:57 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: patton

http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/jom/9511/binczewski-9511.html
You may really be thinking of the Washington Monument.


13 posted on 07/11/2011 8:41:14 PM PDT by Deaf Smith
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To: patton; GeronL

I think you mean the Washington Monument (1884) - there was an article about it awhile back here on FR.


14 posted on 07/11/2011 8:41:29 PM PDT by canuck_conservative
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To: SunkenCiv
Interesting, aluminum processing is pretty complicated from what I understand of it. Either there was a true man of genius back then or Coca-Cola did manage to open up the prehistory market.
15 posted on 07/11/2011 8:41:47 PM PDT by dog breath
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To: PGR88

While you are correct, a combination of crude oil (found in surface ponds in the area) and phospherous fits the bill. Boil in a brass kettle until pressurized, pop the cork, and ignite the vapors.

Better yet, have a galley slave do that last part.


16 posted on 07/11/2011 8:43:05 PM PDT by patton (I am sure that I have done dumber things in my life, but at the moment, I am unable to recall them.)
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To: SunkenCiv

The chinese culture — easily the most stagnant culture ever by and order of magnitude. They were the first to develop the butt pick 3000 years ago, and here they are still picking their butts.


17 posted on 07/11/2011 8:43:12 PM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: patton; SunkenCiv; GeronL
Before the Haber process works, you are going to need one HECK of a campfire...

One possibility not mentioned is that the second century Chinese had a method for isolating Aluminum lost to time and not yet rediscovered.

Look how long metallurgist have been trying to rediscover how to make Damascus steel.

18 posted on 07/11/2011 8:44:21 PM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: Deaf Smith; canuck_conservative

Ooops.

Thanks, guys.


19 posted on 07/11/2011 8:47:42 PM PDT by patton (I am sure that I have done dumber things in my life, but at the moment, I am unable to recall them.)
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To: patton
http://www.aluminiumleader.com/en/around/transport/aircraft
We had aluminum in aircraft long before the Empire State building.
20 posted on 07/11/2011 8:49:16 PM PDT by Deaf Smith
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To: Pontiac

If you know of a cold way to get aluminum out of bauxite, please don’t post it - freepmail me.

I promise to share the profits! I will even name it Pontiac Patton Aluminum!

See? You get top billing.

LOL.


21 posted on 07/11/2011 8:51:22 PM PDT by patton (I am sure that I have done dumber things in my life, but at the moment, I am unable to recall them.)
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To: muawiyah

Do you mean “cinder blocks”, as we use in constuction, or something else?

Modern cement cures better under water than in air - because it cures slower.

Pre-cast and pre-stressed bridge sections, eg, are cured in a water bath.


22 posted on 07/11/2011 8:56:02 PM PDT by patton (I am sure that I have done dumber things in my life, but at the moment, I am unable to recall them.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Was it transparent aluminum?


23 posted on 07/11/2011 8:56:40 PM PDT by AndrewB (FUBO)
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To: dog breath
Not really. Throughout history it was obtained by lightning striking the ground which contained bauxite. After that it could be melted and the slag removed.
24 posted on 07/11/2011 8:58:41 PM PDT by Domangart
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To: SunkenCiv

I wonder if these objects were tested for traces of Pepsi Cola?


25 posted on 07/11/2011 8:58:43 PM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Made from the right stuff! (Anybody but Obama for 2012!))
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To: patton

Actually it wasn’t concrete per se we couldn’t duplicate but concrete that would set up under water. The Romans were able to build many things we couldn’t later duplicate because we had no concrete that would set up under water. It was only quite recently(as time is reckoned)that we were able to make concrete that would set up under water. Al Capone, and other mobsters, used it quite extensively I understand.


26 posted on 07/11/2011 8:59:30 PM PDT by calex59
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To: Pontiac
"Chinese had a method for isolating Aluminum lost to time and not yet rediscovered. "

The Chinese got a big pile of aluminum ore and placed it on various mountain peaks. Odds were, that at some point lightning would hit one of the piles and the aluminum alloy would be the by product. It was, Metal From the Gods...once every 500 years or so.

27 posted on 07/11/2011 9:00:55 PM PDT by Deaf Smith
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To: Born to Conserve

The thing to remember about the Chinese is that throughout their long history, they burned their libraries over and over again - usually along with the scholars who contributed to them. They’ve done just that in recent times. They’ll do it again.


28 posted on 07/11/2011 9:01:37 PM PDT by Noumenon (The only 'NO' a liberal understands is the one that arrives at muzzle velocity.)
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To: Domangart
I never realized that, but such an explanation would make sense. Thank you, I didn't think of lightning.
29 posted on 07/11/2011 9:03:14 PM PDT by dog breath
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To: patton

“If you know of a cold way to get aluminum out of bauxite ...”

Funny you should mention that. I just happen to have been working on this special mixture of rare-earth catalysts, and I’ve got this black box, see, that I put these catalysts in, see, and then I add some powdered bauxite and some plain sea water that’s been slightly heated into one end of this black box, see, and in a few minutes, see, almost pure aluminum comes out of the other end of the black box, see, and ...


30 posted on 07/11/2011 9:05:06 PM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Made from the right stuff! (Anybody but Obama for 2012!))
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To: Domangart

That would make it very rare, indeed.

But I had not thought of that - thanks!


31 posted on 07/11/2011 9:06:20 PM PDT by patton (I am sure that I have done dumber things in my life, but at the moment, I am unable to recall them.)
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To: catnipman

...and let me guess - you need venture capital.

heheheh.


32 posted on 07/11/2011 9:11:58 PM PDT by patton (I am sure that I have done dumber things in my life, but at the moment, I am unable to recall them.)
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To: patton

I believe salt water is a different story...or maybe that’s sugar water. one of the two will prevent portland from setting up.


33 posted on 07/11/2011 9:13:41 PM PDT by mamelukesabre (Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum (If you want peace prepare for war))
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To: SunkenCiv

More Chinese fakes?


34 posted on 07/11/2011 9:14:08 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (SOAK THE GLOBALISTS. Globalists destroy US jobs.)
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To: mamelukesabre

Huh. I do not know.


35 posted on 07/11/2011 9:17:09 PM PDT by patton (I am sure that I have done dumber things in my life, but at the moment, I am unable to recall them.)
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To: patton; MHGinTN
The Egyptians knew some surprising things - like how to electroplate gold onto lead. No idea how that gor invented, but I can surmise that a government contractor came up with it.

Thoth... /g

36 posted on 07/11/2011 9:17:40 PM PDT by tarheelswamprat
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To: patton; Domangart

There are places in america where lightning strikes pretty darn regular. I’d imagine the same kind of places exist in china and you could get aluminum way more frequently than every 500 years. The thing about aluminum is, it oxidizes rapidly under certain conditions...like weak acids such as human sweat or human blood. So its not going to last long.


37 posted on 07/11/2011 9:18:45 PM PDT by mamelukesabre (Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum (If you want peace prepare for war))
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To: patton

“The pyramid peak of the Empire State building is aluminum”

I think you mean the Washington Monument.


38 posted on 07/11/2011 9:19:01 PM PDT by Pelham (Islam. The original Evil Empire)
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To: SunkenCiv

Occam’s Razor says the belt belonged to a time traveler who originated from a time we’ve not yet reached, because we don’t have time travel, yet.

Case solved.

Next!


39 posted on 07/11/2011 9:20:45 PM PDT by Grimmy (equivocation is but the first step along the road to capitulation)
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To: Pelham

Geez, one screup on here, and ten posters to tell you that you goofed...

But you are correct.


40 posted on 07/11/2011 9:25:13 PM PDT by patton (I am sure that I have done dumber things in my life, but at the moment, I am unable to recall them.)
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To: patton
Before the Haber process works, you are going to need one HECK of a campfire...

Did they find AMMONIA at the excavation, too?

On another note:

The Hall Process involves the electrolyzation of molten cryolite. I doubt that the ancient Chinese were able to generate powerful electrical currents. The aluminum pieces must be a later addition.

Regards,

41 posted on 07/11/2011 9:32:04 PM PDT by alexander_busek
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To: patton

hey, you screwed up. it was the washington monument.


42 posted on 07/11/2011 9:32:27 PM PDT by mamelukesabre (Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum (If you want peace prepare for war))
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To: SunkenCiv

the tip of the washington monument is aluminum. at the time it was the most expensive metal in the world, far more expensive than gold.


43 posted on 07/11/2011 9:34:19 PM PDT by beebuster2000
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To: SunkenCiv

I may be missing something from the article but aluminum does occur in nature but very rarely. So rarely that prior to modern technology, aluminum was valued more than gold.


44 posted on 07/11/2011 9:39:37 PM PDT by fso301
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To: patton
Can we duplicate roman concrete even now?

I believe so. It's called internally cured concrete.

45 posted on 07/11/2011 9:41:48 PM PDT by fso301
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To: fso301

I may be missing something from the article but aluminum does occur in nature but very rarely. So rarely that prior to modern technology, aluminum was valued more than gold.


It still is, when it’s encasing beer on gameday.


46 posted on 07/11/2011 9:53:04 PM PDT by Dogbert41
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To: Dogbert41
It still is, when it’s encasing beer on gameday.

LOL!

47 posted on 07/11/2011 9:55:48 PM PDT by fso301
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To: alexander_busek

Haber, Hall, ... Dammit Jim, I am a mathematician, not a chemist!

Actually, that is one reason I am not a chemist - I suck at names. Can’t remember them. Brain not wired for it. Lucky I can remember my own kid’s names.

I remember enough of chemistry to recall that to get AL out of bauxite, you gotta heat it to about 1000C, using electricity.

And that would take one heck of a campfire...


48 posted on 07/11/2011 10:00:47 PM PDT by patton (I am sure that I have done dumber things in my life, but at the moment, I am unable to recall them.)
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To: Grimmy
Teenage time travelers.

aluminum nodules

49 posted on 07/11/2011 11:06:59 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open ( <o> ---)
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To: fso301

For years I had about an eight-ounce (formerly) molten blob of aluminum, from when a Chicago L train caught on fire. (I got some 8mm film of it.)

I went back a few days later and the stuff was laying around on the ground under the burnt-out wreck of the train in the elevated structure.

I think I lost that momento in a move 40 or so years ago.


50 posted on 07/12/2011 12:08:37 AM PDT by Erasmus (I love "The Raven," but then what do I know? I'm just a poetaster.)
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