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NASA Still Using an Ancient Technology Based on How a 6000-Year Amulet Was Made

Nov 18, 2016 06:46 AM EST

Ancient does not mean useless. NASA, as the premiere space agency in the U.S., is expected to have the most advanced equipment and technologies. However, it is surprising to find out that the agency is still using a technique used to create a 6,000-year old amulet relic made by ancient technology.

A paper presented by Nature Communication showed how NASA is still using the six-spiked amulet relic's ancient technology today. The ancient amulet with about an inch of a cross is barely recognizable due to old age and corrosion.

The amulet is said to be a remnant of the Neolithic village who housed farmers in Pakistan. The said item was recovered from ruins. Not only does it serve as a historic artifact, it also provides a lot of information about how the ancient world worked. Apparently, the old and rusty amulet can even provide clues about how the advanced technologies of today were developed.

Researchers used 'synchrotron beam' to study the object up to the microscopic level. Through the in-depth analysis, they found clues as to its origin. "We discovered a hidden structure that is a signature of the original object, how it was made," Mathieu Thoury, team lead, and physicist at the Ipanema, a center for the ancient material study said in a statement. "You have a signature of what was happening 6,000 years ago," Thoury added.

After a thorough examination, it was discovered that the amulet contains copper oxide rods. Other signs pointed out that it was made using the lost-wax casting process, an important technology when it comes to the making of metallic objects and instruments. Based on the paper, the process used to make the amulet is still used to create complex metallic instruments until today.

Lost-wax casting is used to make jewelry, utensils, knives and many more. Even NASA uses a process called 'investment casting' based on the technique used to create the amulet. Some of the results of this process were already able to reach the ISS and potentially reach Mars in the near future.


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