Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Saqqara Bird

Saqqara Bird

The Saqqara Bird – An Artifact of Sycamore Wood 

The Saqqara Bird is an artifact made of sycamore wood and was discovered at the time of the 1898 excavation of the Pa-di-Imen tomb in Saqqara, Egypt which dates back to around 200 BCE. The artefact which resembles a bird had been a topic of several debates and various explanations. Presently it is housed in the Museum of Egyptian antiquities in Cairo.

The Saqqara Bird has a wingspan of 180 mm weighing 39.12 g. Due to lack of documentation, its function is not known. Though its shape resembles a bird, on close observation it resembles a modern airplane with a head of a bird. Moreover, the symbols on the model airplane read thus `The Gift of Amon’ and three papyruses found near the artifact mention the phrase `I want to fly’.

These characteristic aroused the curiosity of Dr Khalil Messiha, the physician who had discovered the artefact and speculated that the ancient Egyptians first made it as a model of an aircraft which they either built or witnessed. He believed that the Saqqara Bird had aerodynamic qualities and the only thing which was missing from the bird was the tail wing stabilizer with which he wondered it would have been capable of flying.

Saqqara Bird Function is not Known

To support his claim, he built a balsa wood model with the addition of the tail and was surprised to see the model fly. Simon Sanderson, an Aviation and Aerodynamic expert also built duplicate model of the Saqqara Bird and tested its aerodynamic in a wind tunnel in 2006, but without the tail.

The outcome was that it could produce four times its weight in lift.Another attempt was made in 2002, to test the flying potentials of the Saqqara bird by Martin Gregorie, glider designer who produced various results. He developed a balsa wood model and concluded that without a tail wing stabilizer, it was not capable of flying and even with the tail; the performance was disappointing, indicating that it was probably meant to be a toy.

Mainstream archaeologist also support that the artefact is nothing though an actual bird that which coincidently resembles a glider. Though its function is not known, several of them tend to agree that it could be a part of a mast head which could have been used on sacred boats

Saqqara Bird Speculations & Explanations 

It is a known fact that the Egyptians had built an advanced civilization and were also experts in architecture, art and engineering and there could have been a possibility that this model could have been constructed in an effort of creating a flying machine.

The papyrus that was found near the object together with the special characteristic of the Saqqara Bird, could probably discard the naive opinion that it could have been designed as a toy. Taking into account what the bird portrayed is not found anywhere it nature, it is presumed that the ancient Egyptians may have seen something in the atmosphere, some kind of flying machine which they could have been unable to understand and hence transferred the bird face to the object.

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