Which Ancient Civilization Invented the Battery?

Have you ever wondered which ancient civilization invented the battery? If so, you’re not alone. The idea of storing electrical energy has been around for centuries, but it wasn’t until the early 1800s that the first true battery was invented.

The Ancient Parthians

While many people assume that the battery was a modern invention, the truth is that ancient civilizations may have been experimenting with electrical power long before we ever thought possible. One of these civilizations was the Parthians, who lived in what is now Iran from around 247 BCE to 224 CE.

The Baghdad Battery

The most compelling evidence for ancient batteries comes from a device known as the Baghdad Battery. This simple contraption consists of a clay jar, a copper cylinder, and an iron rod. When filled with vinegar or another acidic substance, it produces a small electrical charge.

While there is no definitive proof that this device was actually used as a battery by the Parthians or any other ancient civilization, it is certainly possible. Other examples of early batteries have been found in Egypt and Iraq as well.

The Modern Battery

Despite these early experiments with electricity, it wasn’t until Italian physicist Alessandro Volta invented the first true battery in 1800 that electrical power really took off. Volta’s battery consisted of alternating layers of zinc and copper separated by pieces of cardboard soaked in saltwater.

Since then, batteries have become an essential part of modern life. From powering our cell phones to running electric cars and storing solar energy for homes and businesses, batteries are everywhere.


So who really invented the battery? While we may never know for sure if ancient civilizations like the Parthians were experimenting with electrical power all those years ago, it’s clear that they were onto something. Without their early experiments and inventions, we may never have made it to the modern batteries we rely on so heavily today.