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

Sony could be working on a screen-equipped PlayStation controller

A patent recently granted to Sony seems to point to the company creating a controller with a touchscreen. The patent was filed in 2017 and granted in October 2018, which could mean it is planned for the next PlayStation.
Home Theater

Put your home theater to the test with these spectacular Blu-ray releases

What's the point of having all of that awesome home theater gear if you can't breed a little jealousy in your friends and family? We've put together this list of fantastic Blu-rays that have the goods to drop a few jaws.
Home Theater

Get the most boom for your buck with the best headphones under $100

Everybody wants a bargain, and this list has a bunch. For those looking for a solid set of headphones without spending a big stack of cash, this list is is your starting point. Check out our picks for the best headphones under $100.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Computing

Want to use one drive between a Mac and Windows PC? Partitions are your best bet

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.
Computing

Microsoft turns on the lights with a new white theme in Windows 10 update

Microsoft is introducing a new light theme in the upcoming version of Windows 10 and is currently beta testing the change with Windows Insiders. The clean-looking theme brings a much-needed facelift to Windows.
Computing

Four Andromeda-related Microsoft patents hint at new ways to use the device

Andromeda might be getting even more real as four Microsoft patents have surfaced recently, all of which hint at possible new use cases and other new configurations for the device. 
Computing

Here's why 64-bit (not 32-bit) dominates modern computing

Today's computing world isn't the same as it once was. With 64-bit processors and operating systems replacing the older 32-bit designs, we look at what 32-bit vs. 64-bit really means for you.
Computing

A Google patent shows a way to make VR even more immersive

Virtual reality can be a really immersive experience, but it does sometimes it does have boundaries. Google has addressed this problem by patenting shoes with a flexible region on the bottom.
Computing

Converting files from MKV to MP4 is quick and easy. Just follow these steps

MKV files have their place, but if you would rather convert your videos from MKV to MP4, there are two methods we consider the best and most efficient for getting it done. In this guide, we'll walk you through them step by step.
Computing

Heal your wrist aches and pains with one of these top ergonomic mice

If you have a growing ache in your wrist, it might be worth considering changing up your mouse for something ergonomic. But which is the best ergonomic mouse for you? One of these could be the ticket to the right purchase for you.
Computing

Our 10 favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Deals

All the Best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Computing

Windows 10 notifications driving you crazy? Here's how to get them under control

Are the notifications on Windows 10 annoying you? Here's our guide on how to turn off notifications in Windows, and how to manage alerts so that the important stuff still gets through.