Ever-burning Lights around the World

The world is full of stories, some good, some neutral, and some bad. Many stories are repeated in cultures from around the world, such as the fact that each religion had an ancient belief that the dead should have light to guide them through the afterlife.

Throughout history, discoveries of lamps sealed in tombs still burning brightly when the tombs were opened, have been referenced. Many of these lamps, however, went out at the introduction of fresh air, or were destroyed by looters, superstitious robbers, or holy men.

1.  Ancient EgyptThe discovery of jewellery that looks electroplated, points to the possibility of some form of electricity at work. A Ptolemaic inscription dated to 320 BC, explains how wooden poles were inserted into temple grounds, and then capped with copper to ‘capture the lightning from the sky’.  In the Temple of Hathor at Dendera, one limestone wall bears a relief that depicts a flower bulb projecting snakes enclosed in a bubble into the air, which is surrounded by Djed pillars. Erich Von Daniken, a rather eccentric researcher, built a bulb to the hieroglyphic specifications, which produced a purple/blue glow. This was shown in an ABC documentary in 1996 titled “Chariots of the Gods? The mystery continues”.  

It is believed that St. Augustine visited an Egyptian temple dedicated to Isis, and while there saw what he described as a lamp that no wind or water could extinguish. After seeing this, he decided it was not the works of good men, and thus it had to be a creation of the devil.

2. Cicero’s DaughterThe following was supposedly described in a letter discovered in Munich library, dated April 15, 1485: In the 15th century, a tomb was discovered along the Appian Way, an ancient Roman road. When it was opened, the body of a beautiful young woman was discovered, submerged in a pool of clear liquid scented of myrrh, frankincense, aloe, oil of cedar, and other priceless substances. Below her feet were burning lamps, which extinguished when the sepulchre was opened. An inscription in the tomb led the party to believe she had been left here for 1,500 years, yet when they touched her, her skin was still soft and her limbs were still supple. Many today conclude it is likely she was the daughter of Cicero, “Tullia / Tulliola” who died in 45 B.C. Much was made of this discovery in Rome and thousands gathered to gaze at the miracle as her body was transported to the Conservatori palace. There are rumours her body was destroyed, but what happened to the lamp, clear waters, and her tombs location, remain unknown in present times.

3.  Indian MysteriesIn Ujjain, India, within the Prince’s Library is a supposed paper titled 'Agastya Samhita’, which is dated to the first millennium B.C. It contains instructions which detail how to create an electric cell, and also how to use this ‘battery’ to split water into its gaseous forms - perhaps this relates to the Bagdad Batteries discovery. The text translated is speculated to read as follows: “Place a well-cleaned copper plate in an earthenware vessel. Cover it first by copper sulfate and then moist sawdust. After that, put a mercury-amalgamated-zinc sheet on top of an energy known by the twin name of Mitra-Varuna. Water will be split by this current into Pranavayu and Udanavayu. A chain of one hundred jars is said to give a very active and effective force.”

4. South AmericaWithin the area of Tiahuanaco, it was reported that two 90ft squares of Mica were discovered to be inserted horizontally into the floor blocks below the Pyramid of the Sun, by Leopoldo Batres. Mica is an insulator for electricity, and without knowledge of what the mica was used for, it’s quite mysterious as to why it was insertd there, especially as the origins of the mica sheets are hundreds of miles away. What’s interesting is that Tiahuanaco’s city is laid out in an accurate model of the Milkyway, which includes the planets Pluto, Neptune and Uranus, as mentioned by Hugh Harleston Jr. in his research; these planets weren’t discovered by the Western world until the 18th century.

5. Merry old EnglandSupposedly, within the Yorkshire countryside is the tomb of Constantius Chlorus, the father of the Emperor Constantine who died in 300 A.D. In 1534, when King Henry VIII broke away from Catholicism, many monasteries were closed, and tombs were plundered. According to the book “The Rosicrucians: Their Rites and Mysteries”, on page 18, is said that within this particular tomb a lamp was discovered to still be burning, meaning it had been alight for over 1,200 years. Apparently, an automaton smashed the light upon the explorer’s entry, leaving us with little more than shards to try and piece together the mystery of ancient lamps.


Author Bio: Roseanna McBain is a writer for TravelGround, a Cape Town booking and accommodation website. She enjoys ancient myths, histories, various cultures, and is an avid reader.