The pharaonic mysterious turbine

Arch. Dawoud Khalil Messiha M.S.

A piece of alabaster or gypsum was excavated in Zagazig desert (eastern Delta) on the year 1917 by Mr. Perdrizet, now reserved in Cairo Egyptian museum in room 34 piece No. 46101 among ropes from the 11th Dynasty. Its length is 12 cm, 8.5 cm width, history doubtful, function unknown. The author of the article proposes that this piece was a part of a turbine or machine. The proposal based on the shape and dimensions of the object, its four wings and its spiral axle couldn’t be made as an amulet or makeup container or decorative item. It should be part of a machine. Most probably it is a cast for a bronze or copper object because the gypsum or alabaster are soft to be suitable material for a machine or turbine. Ancient Egyptians used to cast copper and bronze statues and by the use of gypsum and wax casts. The area where this object found was always occupied with many activities through the Pharaonic era especially temples of Bastet (the ancient Egyptian goddess represented as a cat). The object could be a turbine or part of a machine used to push liquids inside a deity statue in the temple. A statue base of Ptolemaic period excavated in the area found provided with secret tunnel running from its base to the inside of the statue gives support to the author proposal. The turbine could be used to push liquids inside a statue with similar secret tunnel to give impression of miracles to the visitors of the temple. Most probably the turbine related to the Ptolemaic period or at least the last three centuries B.C. which regarded as the ancient technological inventions era.