Conspiracy theorists think this ancient Greek statue depicts a laptop user

Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program.
Did the Ancient Greek have laptops? Of course not, but that isn’t stopping some people from looking at an ancient statue and thinking they see one.

The marble sculpture, created around 100 BC, is called “Grave Naiskos of an Enthroned Woman with an Attendant.” According to The J. Paul Getty Museum it depicts a woman reaching out to the lid of a shallow chest held by a servant girl. Or is it a laptop?

It isn’t, but that hasn’t stopped British tabloid The Daily Mail from asking “Is this ancient Greek statue proof someone took a laptop back in time (or is it just a TABLET?)” in a headline earlier this week. The story has been bouncing around for a few years now, when conspiracy theorist and YouTuber StillSpeakingOut contemplated it in a somewhat rambling video.

“When I look at the sculpture I can’t help but think about the Oracle of Delphi, which was supposed to allow the priests to connect with the gods to retrieve advanced information and various aspects,” he said in a video, while also stating that he is “not saying that this is depicting an ancient laptop computer.”

Historians say the statue was once part of a grave naiskos, or three-sided grave monument. It was common at the time for depictions of deceased wealthy people to include them reaching for items. The J. Paul Getty Museum says this “probably alludes to the hope of continuing earthly pleasures in the afterlife”.

Whatever the servant was holding — some think it was a jewelry box, some think it was a writing tablet — it’s clear that most of it, including a chunk of the servants hand, has fallen away. We’re not seeing the full picture right now, and thinking it’s a laptop probably has more to do with the viewer than it does the piece itself.

But let’s assume this is a laptop, delivered by TARDIS or a plutonium-powered DeLorean to the ancient Greeks. We’ve got a few important questions:

  • Why is a servant holding this laptop for the user? Shouldn’t it be on her … lap?
  • Why is this woman holding the screen? Has the hinge gone bad?
  • Why is this laptop so narrow? We know some people don’t like widescreen laptops, but this might be the narrowest aspect ratio we’ve ever seen.
  • Why are the supposed USB ports circular, and the exact same size as circles seen in other broken statues?

Sadly, we’ll likely never know.

Gaming

Destiny 2 to move to Steam, shift to free-to-play model starting with Shadowkeep

Destiny 2 will undergo massive changes with its latest expansion, Shadowkeep. The PC version of the game will transfer from Battle.net to Steam, and its base game will become free-to-play to give newcomers a new entry point.
Computing

Air, Pro, or just a MacBook? Here's our guide to finding the right Apple laptop

Apple's lineup of MacBooks has started to swell, leaving fans a bit confused about which laptop they should buy. Depending on what you're looking for, we'll point you in the right direction.
Movies & TV

Who needs sunshine? Stay inside and watch the best movies on Netflix instead

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2019, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR and much more.
Computing

Monzo will launch its banking app in the U.S., but it may be a hard sell

Monzo, a popular mobile banking app from the U.K., will launch this summer in the United States, but its plan for a slow release and an initially feature-light banking app may be a hard sell for its prospective U.S. customers.
Computing

Apple just registered seven new MacBooks, but what are they? Let’s speculate

When Apple registers new devices, that usually means they’re only weeks away from being released. The company has just registered seven new devices -- but are they Airs, Pros or something else entirely?
Photography

The Loupedeck Plus custom keyboard will make you feel like a pro video editor

With recently added support for Final Cut Pro X, the Loupedeck Plus improves speed and accuracy for video editors. With a collection of customizable buttons and dials, the Loupedeck can almost completely replace a mouse and keyboard setup.
Deals

Amazon cuts prices on Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and Surface Go

The Microsoft Surface series is an excellent alternative to other tablets if you're a dedicated Windows user, and the superb Surface Pro 6 (our favorite 2-in-1) and its cheaper sibling, the Surface Go, are both on sale right now.
Deals

Amazon sale drops deals on Microsoft Surface laptops

Despite an increasingly crowded market, the sleek Microsoft Surface laptops have left their mark. Both the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Book 2 are discounted on Amazon right now, too, with deals that can save you up to $300.
Computing

If you need your laptop to be large, these ones are most in charge

Whether you're in the market for a mobile workstation or a gaming behemoth, there's probably something in the 15-inch form factor that can fit the bill. Here, we've rounded up the best 15-inch laptops available.
Computing

Need more pixels? These 4K laptops have the eye-popping visuals you crave

If you're looking for the best 4K laptops, you need to find one that has powerful internal hardware, and doesn't scrimp on weight and battery life. All of these 4K notebooks are great options, but which one is the right one for you?
Computing

AMD’s Ryzen one-two punch will end with a 64-core Threadripper in 2019

AMD's Threadripper may be set to deliver the killing blow to Intel in Q4 2019, with a rumor suggesting a new Zen 2-based Threadripper line is coming down the pipe with a top chip that has as many as 64 cores.
Photography

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.
Computing

HP's Spectre x360 is a better 2-in-1 than Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 is a clamshell

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is a refresh of Microsoft's clamshell option, an oddity given Microsoft's creation of the modern 2-in-1. The HP Spectre x360 13 is, therefore, an interesting comparison.