Ancient Knowledge and Technology

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"It's more than any human can begin to comprehend. Like the universe, it's infinite. It's not just knowledge and information—it's understanding on a level that you'll never reach."
—Daniel Jackson to Replicator Carter, 8.17 "Reckoning Part 2"


The Ancients are a race of humans who have existed for millions of years and were the builders of the Stargates. Through the access to their knowledge and technology, the humans of Earth have gained considerable ground in keeping several galaxies safe from terrible oppressors and enemies.

Ancient Knowledge

The SG-1 team has had two members who have harbored the knowledge of the Ancients. Jack took two temporary downloads from Repositories of Knowledge (2.16 "The Fifth Race", 7.21 "Lost City Part 1", 7.22 "Lost City Part 2", 8.01 "New Order Part 1", 8.02 "New Order Part 2") and Daniel learned the "infinite" knowledge of the Ancients while he was ascended (5.21 "Meridian", 7.01 "Fallen Part 1", 7.02 "Homecoming Part 2", 8.19 "Reckoning Part 1", 8.20 "Reckoning Part 2").

Jack's First Download

Jack takes first download of Repository of Knowledge
Jack uses Ancient knowledge
Jack travels to meet the Asgard

When Jack had the knowledge of the Ancients downloaded the first time (P3R-272), he wrote a formula for computing stellar drift on the chalkboard in Daniel's lab in base eight math (octal). This formula may also have been input by him when he made massive amounts of code changes to the SGC's dialing computer system. Carter considered the formula "revolutionary."

Although they have never been able to build one of their own, Jack drew the detailed schematics of the Dial Home Device (DHD) when he had the knowledge download the first time. Carter read these schematics to override a freeze in the dialing sequence on a DHD on a planet with two suns. It is possible that the severe heat from the suns had damaged the DHD originally.

Jack also input the addresses of Stargates in the Milky Way Galaxy which did not appear on the Abydos Cartouche. These planets were most likely not known to the Goa'uld and were, therefore, quite valuable. The planets were thought to be mostly those of the Ancients and to have Ancient technology on them. The SGC could also use these addresses for Alpha Site candidates. About four and half years after the addresses had been input into the SGC's computer, the SGC had sent out probes to only about a quarter of them, indicating that there were hundreds, if not thousands, of these planets. There was one planet from this list which had advanced lifeforms, but they were not friendly to Earth (4.20 "Entity"). For the most part, however, these planets have been uninhabited (4.06 "Window Of Opportunity", 7.17 "Heroes Part 1", 7.18 "Heroes Part 2", 7.21 "Lost City Part 1", 7.22 "Lost City Part 2") or inhabited by friendly people (3.20 "Maternal Instinct", 7.01 "Fallen Part 1").

Jack's first download of the Repository of Knowledge also revealed the existence of an eight-symbol address to dial a Stargate outside the Milky Way Galaxy. The first planet reached in another galaxy was Othala in the Ida Galaxy, home of the Asgard. The eight-symbol address still has the point of origin last, but the seventh symbol adds a distance calculation to the coodinates in space which are defined by the first six symbols. While visiting the Asgard, Jack learned that the Ancients were indeed the builders of the Stargates and had moved on from their region of space a long time ago.

The trip to the Ida Galaxy was powered by a generator Jack built with the knowledge of the Ancients. The materials he used to build this generator were from common items found on the base, plus the liquid naquadah power source in a staff weapon. The generator blew out after its first use, but was fixed by Carter and an alternate reality version of her, Dr. Samantha Carter (Mrs. Jack O'Neill). They took the generator to the alternate reality to power the Stargate to contact the Asgard to save Earth from Apophis' invasion. The generator remained in that alternate reality and, if procedures were followed, the Quantum Mirror used to get to that alternate reality was destroyed. (3.06 "Point Of View")

Jack's Second Download

Jack takes second download of Repository of Knowledge
Jack enters stasis chamber to save his life
Jack in Thor's care

Jack's second download of the Repository of Knowledge (P3X-439) revealed the location of two of the Ancients' outposts: one on the planet Praclarush Taonas, the other, in Antarctica. Jack also taught Daniel that the Stargate symbols represented not only constellations, but sounds. The address of Praclarush Taonas was constructed by the six syllables of the planet's name. The point of origin for Earth has the sound "at" associated with it.

Jack modified a Goa'uld cargo ship using Ancient knowledge. His first modification was to the engines, enhancing their performance so that they would reach Praclarush Taonas before he ran out of time from the side effects of the download. His second modification was to the ring transporter where he enhanced the light beam to melt a mile of ice over the Antarctic Outpost. The cargo ship was considered one of the most advanced pieces of technology that Earth possessed, but it was destroyed in the Othala Galaxy where the planet Hala was located. Carter and Teal'c had taken it to find the Asgard so that they could unload the Ancient knowledge from Jack like they had the first time, but the ship was destroyed from the gravitational effects of a black hole the Asgard had created to destroy all of the Replicators which were entrapped on Hala. Some of the Replicators escaped, however, and headed for the Asgard's new homeworld. (6.12 "Unnatural Selection", 8.01 "New Order Part 1")

The Asgard were familiar with the Ancients and their legacy. They had tried to learn from a copy of the Repository of Knowledge accessed by the Asgard hundreds of years ago (when Thor was young). The information stored in the Repositories is so vast that Thor suggested that it was infinite. When Thor beamed Jack from the stasis chamber in the Antarctic Outpost to a stasis chamber on his ship, the Daniel Jackson, he suggested that he connect Jack's mind to the ship's computer so that Jack could use the knowledge to create a weapon to destroy the Replicators. Jack designed a disruptor gun and then Thor removed the knowledge from his mind once more. The new weapon worked, but some of the Replicators escaped before the energy wave could be emitted by the Daniel Jackson to destroy the Replicators which were invading the Asgard's planet. (8.02 "New Order Part 2")

Daniel's Ascended Knowledge

Daniel as an Ascended Being
Daniel remembers what the Abydos tablet says after his return to human form
Daniel recalls Ancient knowledge from his time ascended

When Daniel, as an Ascended Being, discovered the tablet on Abydos which was written in one of the oldest forms of the Ancient language, he was able to read the writings with great ease. He related what he read to Carter and Jonas and spoke of the "Lost City." Daniel was removed from his confrontation with Anubis before he used his ascended powers to destroy him. At that point, the rest of SG-1 thought that he was destroyed in the encounter. But, Daniel was pulled away by Oma Desala before The Others got a hold of him and did something more drastic. Daniel chose to return to human form, but part of the arrangement was that his memories were to be erased. Oma disobeyed the rules (again) and merely buried Daniel's memories. When Daniel returned to the SGC after having been found on the planet Vis Uban, his memories started to return. One of the skills which came back full force, even before his memories of all of his prior life, was the ability to read the Ancient writings. He corrected Jonas' erroneous translations of the Abydos tablet, again showing the ease with which he read the language as he had demonstrated on Abydos while he was an Ascended Being. Daniel's ability to read the oldest form of the Ancient writing placed him in the middle of a dangerous mission to hack into Anubis' computer systems on his mothership. Anubis, too, had learned the language of the Ancients and used it to encode his computer systems. Daniel and Jonas were successful in their mission and Anubis' superweapon, and ultimately his mothership, were destroyed. (6.22 "Full Circle", 7.01 "Fallen Part 1", 7.02 "Homecoming Part 2", 8.18 "Threads")

Daniel's knowledge of the Ancients' language makes him invaluable to the SGC. The fact that he had been an Ascended Being made him the target of those who thought he had memories of that time, which included Ancient knowledge of the locations of powerful Ancient weapons. Replicator Carter knew that Daniel might harbor that kind of knowledge in his subconscious, so she kidnapped him. While Replicator Carter probed Daniel's mind, it was discovered that he not only had the ability to translate the writings of the Ancients, but he also retained the entirity of the Ancients' knowledge. Daniel had a complete version of the Repository of Knowledge, as well as other knowledge he obtained while ascended, stored deep in his subconscious. He was never able to access the information on his own, but with Replicator Carter's "help," he not only gained access to some of the knowledge but used it to take control of the Replicators which were all over the galaxy. Through Replicator Carter's distribution of the knowledge she obtained from Daniel to her "brethren," Daniel piggy-backed the command to freeze every Replicator out there. This bought Jacob/Selmak enough time to activate the weapon on Dakara which destroyed all the Replicators. Replicator Carter killed Daniel to break his control and he died on the ship right before it disintegrated. Oma Desala saved him and offered him ascension one more time, but he returned to human form after he had a hand in eliminating Anubis on his plane of existence. (8.16 "Reckoning Part 1", 8.17 "Reckoning Part 2", 8.18 "Threads")

Whether or not Daniel retains any of his ascended memories or his Ancient knowledge after his return to human form after his second ascension remains to be seen.

Ancient Technology

The Ancients were the race who built the Stargate network throughout the Milky Way and Pegasus Galaxies. There is at least one Stargate in the Ida Galaxy (home of the Asgard). There are thousands of Stargates in existence and the SGC has yet to visit each one. The two main sources of Stargate addresses have been the Abydos Cartouche and the Repository of Knowledge database. There have been a handful of addresses which have been provided by other means. (1.02 "Children Of The Gods Part 1", 2.16 "The Fifth Race")
The Dial Home Device (DHD) is encased in a pedestal and has the 39 symbols of the Stargate plus a large activation button in the center. Each symbol lights up as the address is entered. Usually, each Stargate has a DHD nearby. The SGC does not have a DHD, however, and uses a bank of supercomputers to operate their Stargate. (1.01 "Children Of The Gods Part 1")
The device which contained the library of the four races (Ancients, Asgard, Furlings, Nox) looked strickingly similar to the Dial Home Device. Although the information contained in the library was most likely from all four races, the device itself appeared to be of Ancient design. The only Library of the Four Races found was on Ernest Littlefield's planet (P3X-972) and it is most likely that the device was destroyed when the building in which it was stored collapsed. (1.11 "The Torment Of Tantalus")
There have been two planets discovered thus far which have the Ancients' Repository of Knowledge devices (P3R-272, P3X-439). In both cases, Jack took downloads from them and utilized the information to accomplish amazing goals: discovering a method of dialing the Stargate in another galaxy using additional power and an eight-symbol address, and determining the location of Ancient Outposts in the Milky Way Galaxy where power sources and advanced weaponry are kept. Both Repositories are no longer accessible (one's energy source expired and the other was blown up with explosives to prevent it from falling into Anubis' hands). (2.16 "The Fifth Race", 7.21 "Lost City Part 1")
The Ancients on P4X-639 attempted to build a time machine so that they could go back in time and avoid a catastrophe which threatened their existence. This catastrophe is believed to have been the plague which killed off many of the Ancients millions of years ago. The time machine did not work and its builders shut it down, wrote of their efforts on the walls surrounding the device, and let the end come. (4.06 "Window Of Opportunity")
The Stargate Destroyer uses a Stargate to destroy another Stargate by establishing a wormhole to the victim Stargate and sending an energy beam which causes a build-up in the Stargate's storage capacitors. The energy beam builds this power slowly, almost without detection, until the target Stargate overloads. The naquadah with which the Stargate is built enhances the explosion, guaranteed to not only destroy the Stargate, but ultimately the planet (due to changes in the atmosphere and weather). Anubis found one of these Stargate Destroyers and it was destroyed by Teal'c's son, Rya'c. The address or name of the planet was not disclosed. (6.01 "Redemption Part 1", 6.02 "Redemption Part 2")
SG-1 discovered an interesting device in an Ancient research facility on the planet P9X-391. They brought it home and suddenly, everyone on the base was seeing these strange creatures (some of them extremely insect-like). After Jonas Quinn translated some of the glyphs, they determined that the device was designed for one to observe creatures in dimensions close to his/her own. The particle wave that the device emitted was like food to attract the creatures and anyone who touched the machine would be able to see them. If a person touched the device, their natural electrical field was changed so that the person could see the closest dimension. The ability to see this dimension was passed on from person-to-person through touch. Carter and Jonas modified the placement of the power crystals of the device and reversed its charge so that a person would no longer see the creatures. The disposition of the device is not known (either it was returned to the planet or it was sent to Area 51 for further study). (6.13 "Sight Unseen")
The DNA Resequencer was discovered on the planet designated P3X-367 and was in the hands of the Goa'uld Nirrti who was continuing her pursuit of creating the perfect human host. The subject would stand on a raised platform and the device would display the double helix structure of his/her DNA in a holographic projection. The control console of the Resequencer permitted the operator to rotate the holographic projection of the DNA strand and also to actually make modifications to the subject's DNA. Nirrti used this device on the inhabitants of the planet and caused tremendous mutations in their physical and mental forms. She also used the device on three SGC personnel, with one fatality. The inhabitants discovered Nirrti's deception and killer her. They destroyed the Resequencer after they used it to restore all those who were affected by DNA changes. Why the Ancients built this device is still a mystery, since it could have been used to artificially ascend, to activate the gene needed to operate most of the Ancients' technology, to render gene therapy for various afflictions, to find ways to cure victims of the plague, or to find methods of killing the plague itself. (6.16 "Metamorphosis")
The Telchak Device is named after the Goa'uld Telchak who used its design to create the first sarcophagus. The technology worked as a healing device for the Ancients, but it proved dangerous to humans if they were exposed to it for too long a time at too close a distance. Anubis conquered Telchak, but never found the device. He understood the technology, however, and used it to give life to his Kull Warriors. If a human were exposed to the powers of the device after death, the energy absorbed by the dead tissue reanimates it—creating a zombie. The Telchak Device was hidden in a subterranean structure built by the Mayans in modern-day Honduras and spawned the Fountain of Youth myth. It was discovered by Dr. Daniel Jackson and Dr. Bill Lee and studied by the Tok'ra to help the SGC develop a weapon which would counteract the Kull Warriors' life energy. (7.11 "Evolution Part 1", 7.12 "Evolution Part 2", 7.16 "Death Knell")
A Zero Point Module (ZPM) is a power source which can last several thousand years. Fully-charged or operational ZPMs are very rare now. In the Milky Way Galaxy, three have been found with some or all power available: one from the Ancient Outpost on the planet Praclarush Taonas which was used to power Earth's defenses in the Antarctic Outpost and to establish a stable wormhole to the Pegasus Galaxy (it is now depleted); one found by the Goa'uld System Lord Camulus, but was tainted and unuseable; and one found in a First Dynasty Tomb in Egypt, placed there by a future version of SG-1 who traveled back in time to 3000 B.C. (7.22 "Lost City Part 2", 8.04 "Zero Hour", 8.19 "Moebius Part 1", 8.20 "Moebius Part 2")
The various Outposts that the Ancients left in the Milky Way Galaxy had a command chair which controlled powerful weapons. Only someone with the Ancient gene could activate the systems controlled by the chair. Jack used two chairs in two different Outposts: one on Praclarush Taonas and the other in Antarctica. Atlantis has at least one of these chairs as well. (7.22 "Lost City Part 2", Stargate Atlantis: 1.20 "The Siege Part 2")
The Ancients had a stasis chamber in the Antarctic Outpost which was used by Jack after he took the second download from the Repository of Knowledge. Jack remained in the stasis chamber until SG-1 could get help from the Asgard. A similar chamber was found still operational after 10,000 years in the city-ship Atlantis. The stasis chamber does not "freeze" the subject completely, but merely slows down the metabolism (metabolic stasis). (7.22 "Lost City Part 2", 8.02 "New Order Part 2", Stargate Atlantis: 1.15 "Before I Sleep")
The city-ship Atlantis is one of the most advanced spacecraft ever seen by the SGC. Its size is comparable to Manhattan, and it has within it a database of Ancient knowledge and advanced weapons. Many labs exist in the city as well. The Atlantis Expedition Team lives in the city which also has a Stargate, the only one in the Pegasus Galaxy able to dial Earth. (Stargate Atlantis)
The Ancient Timeship discovered on Harry Maybourne's planet was most likely built by Janus, an Ancient who returned to Earth when Atlantis was abandoned in the Pegasus Galaxy 10,000 years ago. Janus built a time machine inside a small spacecraft, nicknamed by Maj. John Sheppard as a "puddle jumper," and stored it in the jumper bay among all of the other jumpers. The timeship left on Harry's planet had a Stargate dialing computer in its dashboard with the symbols of the constellations of the Milky Way Galaxy, so it is most likely meant to travel within this galaxy's Stargate network. The timeship was used by a future version of SG-1 to travel back in time to 3000 B.C. in order to retrieve a ZPM. The time traveling team placed the ZPM in a First Dynasty Tomb so that the future versions of themselves would not have to travel back in time to retrieve the ZPM. In the current timeline of SG-1, the timeship is being studied by scientists at Area 51. (8.13 "It's Good To Be King", 8.19 "Moebius Part 1", 8.20 "Moebius Part 2", Stargate Atlantis: 1.15 "Before I Sleep")
The Ancients had gene-triggered long range communications devices which appeared like dark stones with glyphs etched in them. One of them was found on P3R-233 and the other at a garage sale in Indiana after it was uncovered during an archaeological dig in Egypt. The devices were activated by anyone who had the Ancient gene and linked the minds of the users so that each had visions of the other's thoughts. (8.15 "Citizen Joe")
The weapon on Dakara was built by the Ancients to break down an object into its basic components. Based on the frequency programmed into the device's control panel (which looks very much like the control panel of the Ancient time machine on P4X-639), the objects destroyed could either be technology or lifeforms. Recently, the weapon was used in conjunction with the Stargates of the Milky Way Galaxy to send an energy wave to destroy the Replicators. It could have just as easily been configured to destroy all life in the galaxy, as was the intent of Anubis. The weapon was destroyed by the Free Jaffa Nation who had taken Dakara in their battle for freedom. It is said that this same device was used to reseed the Milky Way Galaxy with life after the plague which killed several Ancient worlds swept through the galaxy millions of years ago. (8.16 "Reckoning Part 1", 8.17 "Reckoning Part 2", 8.18 "Threads")

Technology Derived from Ancient Technology or Knowledge

The Goa'uld Telchak used the Ancient's healing device, now known as the Telchak Device, to create the first sarcophagus. The sarcophagus is used by the Goa'uld to prolong their lives. It has also been used as a stasis chamber. Human bodies are easily healed by the technology, even from death, but are adversely affected with addiction if continuously exposed to the energy of the device while healthy. (Stargate: The Movie, 2.05 "Need", 7.11 "Evolution Part 1")
Using the knowledge gained from the first download of the Repository of Knowledge, Jack designed a power generator from various pieces of equipment he found on the base. This generator was designed to be connected to the power panels of the SGC base and allowed the Stargate to draw more power than it ever could otherwise. This extra power enabled the Stargate to form a stable wormhole to another galaxy (in this case, the Ida Galaxy, home of the Asgard). The generator used the liquid naquadah from a staff weapon as a key source of power. The generator blew out after its first use, but Carter and her alternate reality double, Dr. Samantha Carter, got it working once again. It was used and left in this alternate reality. (2.16 "The Fifth Race", 3.06 "Point Of View")
The Ascended Being named Orlin gave the knowledge to build a powerful weapon to the people of Velona because he did not wish to see them destroyed by the Goa'uld. The Velonans used the weapon and the Goa'uld was destroyed, but soon thereafter, they decided to use the weapon to conquer neighboring worlds. The Others punished Orlin by destroying Velona and banishing him there. When the SGC substituted a naquadah reactor to generate the power to turn the weapon on once again, Orlin stepped in and prevented it and then destroyed the weapon for good. [Note: It is currently assumed that Orlin used his knowledge of the Ancients to help the Velonans to build this device, but it was not stated outright since The Others were not identified to have ascended Ancients among them until later in the series.] (5.03 "Ascension")
Anubis used the technology of the Telchak Device to design his own tissue animation system for creating his Kull Warriors. These beings were grown in a lab and then given life through the energy of the derived technology. The warriors were also implanted with Goa'uld symbiotes who were produced with low brain functions, basically making them easy to program to fit Anubis' needs. The SGC used the technology of the Telchak Device to counteract the life-energy of the warriors and they were eventually all defeated on Dakara. (7.11 "Evolution Part 1", 7.12 "Evolution Part 2", 8.18 "Threads")
With the study of the Telchak Device, Carter and Jacob Carter/Selmak developed a weapon which emitted an energy blast which counteracted the life energy used to create the Kull Warriors. The device was first successfully used on the Alpha Site and was then adapted to fit on top of the SGC's weapons, its presence on the weapon is evident by its blue light. The energy emitted by the device also appears blue. (7.11 "Evolution Part 1", 7.12 "Evolution Part 2", 7.16 "Death Knell", 7.22 "Lost City Part 2")
Using the knowledge gained from his second download of the Repository of Knowledge, Jack enhanced the engines of a cargo ship to make it fly extraordinarily fast. This enhancement allowed them to conduct a round trip between Praclarush Taonas and Earth at tremendous speed. Jack also made modifications to the cargo ship's ring transporter, making it emit a powerful energy beam which melted a mile of ice in the Antarctic to gain access to the Outpost buried there. The cargo ship was destroyed by the gravitational pull of a black hole in the Othala Galaxy. (7.22 "Lost City Part 2", 8.01 "New Order Part 1")
While Jack carried the second download of the Ancients' knowledge, he designed a disruptor gun using this knowledge on an Asgard computer. The Asgard had the technology to produce a prototype from the design. It was meant to disrupt the link between the blocks which composed the Replicators. After it worked, Thor used the design to configure an identical energy wave using his ship, the Daniel Jackson, as the source of the wave. He rid the Asgard's homeworld of the Replicators which were physically on the planet, but some of them escaped. The Asgard then designed a satellite which emitted the same disruptor wave. That device was used at the Alpha Site to destroy Fifth and his ship. The wave's frequency was discovered by Replicator Carter and she developed an immunity to it. Thor and Carter modified the frequency and Thor used his ship once again to destroy Replicators which were onboard a Goa'uld ha'tak in the Milky Way Galaxy. When they attempted to use the energy wave a second time, however, they found that the Replicators learned how to adapt immunity to the wave through their hyperspace link. Eventually, the energy wave to destroy the Replicators throughout the Milky Way Galaxy was emitted by the weapon on Dakara which used similar technology to match the frequency within a margin of that of the modified disruptor wave. (8.02 "New Order Part 2", 8.11 "Gemini", 8.17 "Reckoning Part 2")

Articles on the Ancients

Library of the Four Races Repository of Knowledge Ancient Time Machine
Stargate Destroyer Ayiana of the Ancients Tablet Found on Abydos
Ancient Weapon on Dakara Ancient Timeship Merlin of the Atlantian Ancients

This series of articles covers the history, language, writings, knowledge, and technology of the Ancients.


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--DeeKayP 15:10, 16 Apr 2005 (PDT)