Oopart (out of place artifact) is a term applied to dozens of prehistoric objects found in various places around the world that seem to show a level of technological advancement incongruous with the times in which they were made. Ooparts often frustrate conventional scientists, delight adventurous investigators open to alternative theories, and spark debate.
The pyramids and other advanced artifacts from ancient Egypt continue to awe archaeologists and archaeology enthusiasts, but is it possible the ancient Egyptians had aviation?
A wooden carving dating from the 3rd century B.C. was found in a tomb in Sakkara (also spelled Saqqara), Egypt, in 1898. It was classified as a bird figure and placed with other bird carvings at the Cairo Museum, until Dr. Khalil Messiha, a medical doctor and Egyptologist, saw in it 1969 and realized it looked like the model airplanes he made as a child.
Professor Emeritus of mechanical engineering at the University of Houston John H. Lienhard explained in an “Engines of Our Ingenuity” episode: “The other birds had legs. This had none. The other birds had painted feathers. This had none. The other birds had horizontal tail feathers like a real bird. … This strange wooden model tapered into a vertical rudder. One can also see that the wing has an airfoil cross-section. It was all aerodynamically correct. Too much about the model was beyond coincidence.”
Some have said that what appears to be the vertical rudder of an airplane instead depicts twisted tail feathers, as shown, for example, on bird figures adorning boat mastheads in the Khonsu Temple relief below:
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