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If correct, the artifacts would predate Alessandro Volta's 1800 invention of the electrochemical cell by more than a millennium.

Description and dating The artifacts consist of terracotta jars approximately 130 mm (5 in) tall (with a one and a half inch mouth) containing a copper cylinder made of a rolled-up copper sheet, which houses a single iron rod.

In 1940, Knig published a paper speculating that they may have been galvanic cells, perhaps used for electroplating gold onto silver objects.

This interpretation continues to be considered as at least a hypothetical possibility.

After Mike Mikesell had ruined a diamond saw blade in cutting it open, the geode proved to contain something strange.