Factgirl's fact of the day:

Count Alassandro Volta invented the battery in 1800 right? Perhaps not...

There are a group of little jars in Khujut Rabu, just outside Baghdad, each about the size of a grapefruit. The jars date back about 2,000 years and consist of an earthenware shell, with a stopper composed of asphalt. Sticking through the top of the stopper is an iron rod. Inside the jar the rod is surrounded by a cylinder of copper. When filled with an electrolyte like grape juice they produce about two volts of electricity - just enough to electroplate jewelry.

Scientists are beginning to test jewelry of that time to see if some of the metals thought to be pure gold are really gold plated silver.

-it's a fact

Encyclopedia of the Unexplained - Richard Cavendish (ed)